What We Talk about When We Talk about the Tube
Londoners treat the underground not as a stage set, a place where we’re on display, but as a neutral space, one in which we don’t overtly direct our attention at each other. People sneak glances at each other, of course they do, but the operative word is “sneak”. They don’t look openly, in the way they would elsewhere. The main focus of people’s attention is inward. They go into themselves. Or they go into the world of whatever entertainment they’re carrying.
— John Lanchester, What We Talk about When We Talk about the Tube