It is Monday morning and as I start my stressful commute down the stairs to my office overlooking the pool, I am reminded of all those poor people stuck on trains, buses, tubes and trams. But I have a cunning plan to make their morning commute less painful.
In Geneva (and what a great city it is) we all took a tram from the hotel to the cathedral one morning. About three minutes into the tram ride a glamorous lady with masses of dark curly hair started to sing, accompanied by a man on an accordion. The children did what children do when they hear nice music; they got up and started to dance. I gave them some money to give to the performers who then launched into that brilliant Gipsy Kings tune that we can all hum but can never remember the name of. Now I wanted to dance as well. But the tram was full of commuters looking grumpy.
So what did I do? I swayed rather pathetically in my chair, not daring to get up, despite encouragement from my three little dancers who have yet to acquire inhibitions. I still regret not getting up, although my husband did later confirm that I would have looked like a mad woman, which is something I try to avoid.
But imagine this: what if everyone on the tram had got up and started doing the salsa? How much more fun would their commute to work have been that morning and how much happier would they have been when they arrived at their desks?
So my advice is, if you feel like dancing, go for it. Maybe you could start a trend, a sort of commuters’ equivalent of laughter yoga. I wish I had.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
You should have grabbed the opportunity to dance while your children are still young enough not to be mortified by it. My daughter cannot bear it if I even sway along to her music. I have told her repeatedly that I haven’t started on the ‘really embarrassing parent’ stuff yet – just give me time.
Once when on the underground in London a couple of people were playing music, a loudspeaker announcement said: do not encourage beggars and buskers by giving them money. I of course immediately got up to give them money and thanked them for the entertainment. In my opinion they brightened up a very boring journey, but judging by the other passangers I was the only one who thought so. Keep dancing!