Monday, June 12, 2006

Well I've certainly learned my lesson. Don't mess with the god of commuting, for he will wreak havoc upon thee.

Following my recent post criticising the current situation at Kings Cross, forces beyond my control have conspired to make my commute noticeably tougher.

First, my regular Monday morning commute (on the very DAY after my original post) was disrupted by a broken-down train at Welwyn Garden City, of all places. Why "of all places"? you may well ask. Well, because I lived there for 3 years, and only recently moved away. So it felt a little bit as though somebody somewhere was having a bit of fun at my expense.

Anyway, it took an hour and a half to trundle into Kings Cross, a hefty delay on a journey that only usually takes 3o minutes. This my fellow passengers and I would not have minded - a broken-down train on the line is far harder to argue with than, say, leaves on the line, but there was no announcement, not even a "sorry for any inconvenience to your journey." Nothing. We were left alone, in an information vacuum, to speculate idly on what could possibly be causing the hold-up, as the intercity trains, with their flashy upholstry and cappucino machines, shot past us, regardless of any cissy broken down obstacles in their path.

I viewed it all as pennance for my grumbling. So, from now on, to try to atone (and in the hope that it might guarantee a faster service) I'm going to use this blog to celebrate commuting , not decry it. After all, it gives us all something to talk about. A bit like discussing the weather, moaning about one's commute has become a default topic of conversation, even among strangers, when all other avenues have been explored. It underpins the newspaper industry (I don't have any facts to back up this claim). And in the anarchic, Darwinian dynamic that sees outwardly courteous, good-natured people barging each other out of the way and flailing with their elbows in a manner to make even John Fashanu blush, we see a microcosm of global society: might makes right, and nice guys finish standing.

Sorry if this has all been a bit deep. Next week: on-train toilets.

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