the endless trials of public transportation

i still don’t drive and even if i did i would be traveling by train regularly for my job. my main nemsis in this is richard branson.

my first thought was to call him the king of england but in fact he owns england. he owns most the trains i take, he owns my cable/broadband/telephone and even the plane my son took to come see me in march…i’d like to chat with sir richard about his trains and a few things he could do to improve them.

lately, it’s the air conditioning…the point of A/C is to make the immediate environment cooler…not slightly less hot! if i’m going to remain warm i would rather be on a train with open windows so there is at least an occasional cool breeze. i find being in an air tight space with barely circulating tepid air…suffocating!!!

besides the okayish toilets, the intermittent refreshments and the annoying corporately programmed employees there is the significant problem of other passengers. i suppose you just can’t avoid the general rudeness of people talking on their phones as if they are sitting at home, people who sit in the aisle seat and put their stuff on the other seat to discourage anyone from sitting there leaving the rest of us with a sense of courtesy to have multiple seat partners….hopefully only one of which will need to make an annoying phone call.

speaking of phone calls, last week i overheard or was forced to listen to-depending on your perspective…a man had at least 5 calls to/from his wife during a 90 minute journey. over the course of all those calls it became apparent to me at least, that his wife was pregnant and probably in early labor…on the third or fourth call he started out by asking if there were any “developments”…i thought please don’t let this go into contractions and water breaking….it did briefly and then thank god went on to calling family members and the progress of the train and the likelihood of a train delay…

now, my thought on this was~~~why wouldn’t you get up off your lazy ass and go into the vestibule to discuss such a delicate topic with your wife???

some of my other memorable moments of the last 20 or so train rides??

i had a young very thin (think toothpick) chinese girl sitting next to me, with her handbag size dog. cute dog but everytime she put it down it whined so she put in on her (our) seat. and then her phone started ringing, she looked at who it was and just didn’t answer it….ring}}}}ring}}}}}ring}}}}}}ring}}}}}}}ring!!!! this happened 3-4 times….i looked at her and she just sat there bobbing her head to her music…..ummmm, can you hear your phone ringing? because we all can????? have you heard of the “silent” option???even i know about that!!!

yesterday, two women thought it would be a nice touch if the whole train could listen to some nice easy listening music, don’t know how else to describe it…so if it’s not rap music we shouldn’t complain????

yesterday morning commute actually inspired a few chuckles: the train usually comes up from euston and then turns around at Birmingham and goes straight back to london. there is a train that goes on to wolverhampton though and there must have been a mix up because i got on and was sitting next to a guy who started making comments which only became clear later.

he said…”gee, where’s everyone going today?”…..” mmm, this is the train to london?????” …..”sure is a busy train today?”…all the while looking a bit anxious and quizzical.

it turned out he had gotten on the train in coventry heading toward wolverhampton and now was on his way back to coventry…he took it quite well but one of his fellow wolverhampton bound travelers decided to pull the emergency brake a few minutes after we pulled out of the station!!!!

the train manager came flying down the train and this idiot chap comes up to him and says…..”it was me! i’m the one who pulled the chain…i want to go to wolverhampton”

duh! did he think one of richard bransons robots was going to say: oh dear, certainly sir. we’ll just back up into the station so you can get off~HA!

i really need to start taking pictures on the train…

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