Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Stranger(s on a) Train.


I'm currently hurtling from Finsbury Park to Hitchin on my way back from a gig, but I can't get comfortable because THE TRAIN I'M ON IS NOTHING LIKE THE TRAINS THAT NORMALLY RUN THIS ROUTE

I've been travelling from Herts to London on and off for twenty years, and in all that time, the journey has never been serviced by a train like this. It's the kind I'd expect to take from St Pancras to Brighton or from Vauxhall to Leatherhead; not from Finsbury Park to Hitchin (seasoned travellers of the South East will know what I mean). The colour-scheme and seat design is completely wrong, and the adjustable shelf in front of me isn't the right shape. I feel like I'm having the dullest outer-body experience ever: everything around me is wrong - and what I don’t get is no-one else seems fazed by this.

Three paragraphs into this blog post and I’m safely home, but still shaken by my commuting experience. All the way back I was bursting for the loo, but the carriage was too crowded with standing passengers for me to consider getting up. Then suddenly at Stevenage, the train emptied out and I decided to make a run for the cubicle.

(Forgive me for the detail to follow.)

A few minutes into my wee, I started to worry if the flow would ever stop. This was a superhuman urination akin to a sudden buckling of the Hoover Dam. It was then that I began to panic: “It normally takes five minutes to get from Stevenage to Hitchin,” I thought, “but what if this newer train is that little bit quicker? How will I staunch the flow?”

Thankfully, I needn’t have worried, as things drew to a close with enough time to vacate this strange, out-of-context fraudster of a train and jump into a taxi and get home. I could do with some Valium now to aid my recovery; next time I'll go by Megabus.

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