Sunday, June 01, 2008

Underground drinking

I had never really thought about whether drinking was allowed on the Tube or not. I've never really spent that much time in London. I'm used to the idea of drinking alcohol on trains though - on the way from The North to London and back there was usually a choice of some kind of alcohol on the train in addition to coffee and tea. Over here, it's a very obvious no-no to drink alcohol on public transportation. I'm not sure if that's the case in every state of the union, but it wouldn't surprise me - the puritanical attitude seems pretty pervasive - or is the no 'open-containers' law just a New England thing? Is it a symptom of my Americanisation that it seems normal to me not to allow the drinking of alcohol on trains or buses?

It truly does surprise me though that British journalists seemed surprised that the 'last night' of drinking on the Tube got out of hand. What on earth did they expect?

Images from the Daily Mail's report on the evening.


Expat mum said...

You can't even drink outsie here, unless you're in a sidewalk cafe or bar. During the summer we have a lot of outdoor concerts, where the parents all 'borrow' their kids' giant sippy cups.
I can't remember people drinking on the Tube when I worked in London in the 80's. Mind you most were so blotto late at night anyway that they probably couldnt face any more!

ADDY said...

I've lived (and worked) in London for the last thirty years and can't say I have ever seen a single person actually drinking on the tube! Either I need glasses or they got off the train before I got on!!

Little Britainer said...


I have seen people drinking on the tube in London. My worst experience with public drinking was actually here, though. When I first lived in NY, I lived up near Columbia. Early one morning on my way to work, a bunch of students were in the subway car, wasted, surrounded by empty cans. One of them even threw up.

Canoez said...

I think the open container thing and that drinking outside is discouraged around here is one of those left-over Blue Laws from the Puritans...

The last time I was in Texas, I think you could drink anywhere you wanted - even in your car!

We used to frequent a bar that had tables out front, but you couldn't sit ouside with a drink because the local police would come along and harass you. I always thought if you were still on the property where the drink was served, it wasn't a problem...

Mmm said...

Although you might find some people drinking on the Tube it is generally discouraged (and very rarely seen). Its considered too easy to get out of hand or for some blasted blokes to be a danger to the passengers, even if just being obnoxious and breaking the taboo of actually talking on the Tube! LOL.

I have to say I took the tube every day for 15 years and never once saw even one person drinking on it--it's just not done or expected! now, you would see the occasional smashed person but you could also see the general disdain for the awkwardness they could bring to the otherwise congenial, quiet ride.

Anonymous said...

I don't think journos were really surprised by it, but they always report things that way.

I thought it was the perfect result that proved Boris Johnson was completely right all along.

If the revellers wanted to prove that drinking on the tube should be allowed to continue and that people can have a drink and behave, they totally failed.

Well done stupid Londoners!

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