Monday, July 09, 2007

'Please exit the station immediately'

Once again, I find myself in London's Docklands area. This time it's not so bad...I'm near Canary Wharf, which at least has something going for it. So I hop on the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) and take a ride as far into central London as it will take me, which is the Bank station. At the Bank station, one can transfer to the London Underground via the Monument station, which, as far as I can tell, is actually the same station as the Bank station. But never mind that.

As the train pulls into the Bank station, I step off the train and am immediately greeted by a PA announcement advising me that due to a "reported emergency", I should "please exit the station immediately". Given that the failed 7/21 bombers in London were convicted just today and there might be some backlash, I (and apparently everyone else in the station) decided to just go ahead and exit the station immediately. Not that I was planning on spending the rest of the afternoon 50 or 100 feet underground or anything like that, but I wasn't going to waste any time getting to street level, either. It's not like people were running around screaming, but everyone was walking at a very brisk pace, myself included.

Well, let's just say that thank God there wasn't a chemical bomb or anything like that. After about eighteen escalators (hyperbole alert!), I finally made it to street level. took forever to get out of that station. In an actual, no-shit, Allahu Akhbar situation, I'd have been better off just following the tracks...or taking a deep breath.

In the end, either there was a false alarm or some minor problem, because when I got back to the station a couple hours later for the return trip, all was well.

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