Obligatory apology for my tardiness. A regular posting schedule? Next joke. While you’ve got me here, though, I thought we could talk about trains (and by ‘talk about trains’, I mean I’m going to tell you about how rubbish I am at navigating train stations, trains, and long-distance journeys in general, really.)
Let’s start most recently. On Wednesday I travelled from uni back to my hometown for the Easter break. I know it’s not Easter for a good few weeks yet, but it’s just how the term dates fell this year. It’s worked out pretty well for me, actually, because I’ve got plenty of free time away from the bustle of partying, lectures and general adult-y tasks of cooking and cleaning to focus on revision and getting my mind into shape before exam season hits.
That was a massive tangent, wow. Okay, trains.
I had absolutely nothing planned all day in anticipation of my 12:52 train. The station is about a 20-minute walk from my student house on a good day, and with all my bags I’ve made it in half an hour in the past, so I allowed myself 40 minutes to get there, buy my tickets and get sorted. I’d been awake since 6.30 that morning getting all my bedding washed, bags packed and fitting in a bit of reading. I invited my friends over for a cup of tea and to say goodbye before leaving. At ten past I saw them out, loaded myself up and set off.
Did I catch my train? What do you think?
I was still buying my ticket at 12:52 and thought, nah, this isn’t going to happen. Might as well just take my time and wait for the next one. So I made my way onto the main platform, and heard over the tannoy that my train was now coming on a different platform! Brilliant! I did a sort of fast hobble-walk to the lifts, and made it onto Platform 9 just in time for the bloke to blow his whistle and wave the train off. Marvellous. I ended up waiting 2 whole hours for the next one (living in a relatively unknown little town definitely has its perks. The rail service is not one of these perks.)
Eventually I got on a train, and made it home at a modest 5.15pm after a rubbish connection where I was surrounded by kids on the platform smoking shisha pens like they were cigars. Sticky-sweet shisha blown into your face is really not pleasant, in case you were wondering.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had bad luck with trains. The last time I visited home, I forgot to open the train doors at my stop. (I’m not joking. To this day I’m still not quite sure how I managed that one.) Then there was the time I was travelling from Reading to Windsor with a friend and missed the train from Reading and, consequenty, our connection at Slough. We were heading to the theatre and our ETA initially was a good half an hour before the show started. We got there just after the curtains had opened and had a great time squeezing into our seats – right in the back corner of the theatre, no less – past everyone who had actually managed to navigate transport in good time like normal people.
Despite all these shortcomings, I actually really enjoy travelling by train. I love the excitement of going somewhere new, and for me that’s sitting on my suitcase on a crowded platform. But maybe that’s just because, at the age of nearly-20, I still can’t drive…
Until next time,
Emma 😄 x