Thursday 19 May 2011

When the trains run late

I got late to work today and got home late in the evening, because the trains were running late, because of some accident on the railway.

So this morning, I was waiting for the train, and waiting some more, like other commuters, until a bunch of taxis came, one of the drivers saying the train had been cancelled and the ride was paid by the by the train company... Then when I got in one with fellow unfortunate commuters the driver said that the ride would cost us £20 then the train company would pay back. I think he was trying to pull a fast one, but anyway we decided to get out. I hate scammers, especially when they are so unsubtle. It was like he thought we were really thick. So we waited for other taxis, or some bus or something, getting some rubbish info from the train line. A guy made this joke, which deserves to be a great unknown line: "The trains are not working again, we suck at everything!" I made this other great unknown line: "On the plus side, help lines seem to be working smoothly." But yes, there was lots of complaints about how trains work so well everywhere in Europe but here. Finally, and even though the train had been cancelled, it appeared a few minutes late. Even the helpline guy was clueless: he had said taxis or buses were on their way. But at the next stop the train remained still for a few minutes, so I arrived at work thirty minutes late.

Then when evening came the train didn't come, because of the same accident. We waited and waited and waited. When it finally arrived, it was an hour late. And it stopped one station before final destination (mine and the train's). So the rest of the commute was done in a taxi, in company of unfortunate commuters, but an elderly gentleman paid for it.

In spite of the frustrations of those journeys, in spite of the exhausting day I had because of them, I have to admit it was not all that bad. I managed to read a lot in the train, something I don't have much time to do anymore. On the way back, I talked a lot to a colleague I had never met (he works in a different department than mine) and a young guy who was doing his A Levels in drama. Yes, a fellow actor. Actually, he is more of an actor than I am, taking a path which at his age I did not even consider. When time stops like this, it makes you get in touch with your fellow bipeds, people you see every day without meeting, until that time when you are in the same boat (so to speak), sharing the same experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Moments such as you described bring out the good, (the gentleman who paid the taxi fair), the bad (scamming taxi driver), and the ugly(British Rail). But it certainly forces us to slow down and connect with our fellow bipeds as you call us:-). It's not always a bad thing, slowing down. That said I hope all the trains run on time for you today.