corders in the hague

It's like having the Corders round for dinner - except the kids don't smash stuff and Mike doesn't drink all your booze. And when you're bored you can get rid of us with a mouse click rather than having to start tidying up the house.

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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Train troubles

Why is it that train conductors think I understand and in some way empathise with what they seem to perceive as their problem, namely that their filthy, stinking train is running 45 minutes late?It’s not their problem, it’s my problem.
As I crossed the border today into Switzerland - the land that invented time and where everything runs according to schedule – the conductor of my train announced that because of a technical problem they were running three-quarters of an hour late. No apology, just gratitude for my understanding.
I could not possibly be any less understanding.
In fact, I’m struggling to suppress the urge to take a large spanner to the train and then the conductor.
I’m only on this train because my previous connection in Austria suddenly just ceased to exist. I got up early this morning and got a lift to Saalfelden near Leogang. From there, a train took me on a hair-raising trip through the mountains to Feldkirch. There, I had an hour stop before my next train left so I went into town (which is very pretty, by the way) and had a sandwich followed my a sensational ice cream and espresso.
I went and sat under the platform sign advertising my next train until one minute after it was due to arrive the sign simply changed to another train.
I went and politely enquired at the ticket office where the fuck my train was and they said it had been replaced by a bus, which had already left. Nobody told me.
They helpfully booked me on the next train an the one after that.
Finally, I got on this God-forsaken locomotive which eventually will take me to Zurich. From there, I have to wait again for the next train to Basel. By the time I get to that city, I will have missed Guus Hiddink’s pre-quarterfinal press conference and probably the Russian team’s final training session. Thankfully, my good friend and colleague Raf is covering for me and I wrote a story based on a few quotes I’d been saving for just such a rainy day.
Even so Swiss Railways, please do NOT EVER assume you have my understanding that your crappy train has a technical problem.

Update from blighted train: Switzerland is now trying to charm me by having the railway run alongside a beautiful light blue lake with accompanying cliffs and meadows.
But it’s not going to work. Unless I have an exceptionally good cheese fondue and a gallon of fine pinot noir with Raf tonight, I will never forgive Switzerland for making me miss a press conference.

4 Comments:

Blogger cordersinthehague said...

Hope you had a good night out

3:47 AM  
Blogger dan said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be the last time you will need to be at one of Gus's pre match press conferences for this tournament.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Tim & M said...

All I can say is if the Swiss can't make their trains run on time then we're all screwed.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Hong Kong Merretts said...

Doesn't the AP budget stretch to hiring a car? The only place public transport works is Hong Kong. 14 million trips a day are made here by our meagre seven million-strong population.

5:37 PM  

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