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Monday, June 12, 2006

A further strangeness regarding trains.

I simply find them confusing. I am an intelligent guy, by some accounts. I write a killer handout about moving you're e-mail from Outlook Express to Outlook in an enterprise which has a network governed by a Stalinist who welds GPOs like that mouse character in Fantasia.

Trains confuddle me. Maybe it is because as a lad I grew up with a family car and and long distance travel was mainly international back to "das motherland" and we flew. That must be the reason behind my affinity with airports and planes.

I do not understand how a colleague of mine trains accross the south coast every week, it'd kill me. Albeit the pay off is worth it, for him I'm extra sure.

When you book a flight, unless you travel with some backwater company that uses, I don't know a coconut as the boarding pass, you have allocated seating. You board, hopefully turn left, and sit down. You might get a cheeky upgrade if you were unfortunate enough to turn left when you boarded and you weren't supposed to.

On a train however you get on and then try to find your allocated seat in the correct coach since, apparently some trains also divide. Be told by some BO riddled slob in a grateful dead t shirt that he's planning to sit there for the journey, his scent remaining for many aeons after he's gone. There is a kind of bidding war with train seats, I like to have a table to place my MPB on and compose typo ridden prose like this, with mile long run on sentences.

However those tabled seats are a scarce commodity, you might get lucky and be allocated one, you might get lucky and sit in a reserved one and hope beyond hope that the actual owner of said seat doesn't bother to find it - dammit... I've just been turfed out of mine.

Even more confusing you might find one that pretends to be free, there is no little piece of card atop the seat proclaiming the seat is reserved for Mr. Jones, the little ticker tape above the seat is not telling you that it's reserved until Coventry but not past Stoke on Trent. However secretly once you have sat down and begun "enjoying" the train ride.

That ticker tape then must secretly change to an invite, pleading with the most reprehensible, smelly (again), large person with a chronic respiratory complaint to come and squeeze their huge visage between those small fold down arms, their folds of blubber threatening to turn them into matchwood.

Now I realise I'm being somewhat hyperbolic.

I will give trains some points, certainly Virgin trains, for their toilets... they are super cool with little touch buttons, and light up locks and automatic flushes and hand washers. However I did recently hear rumour of a young women being caught in a "compromising position" when the door spontaneously opened while she was using the facilities, it could be argued that loos are so cool they have a sense of humour.


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