Today I left work a little earlier than usual to catch a train to London for a weekend. Well, I say weekend – it’s only actually one full day and two nights as I have work on Sunday ; but somehow calling it a weekend makes it feel like less of waste of money. I don’t really mean that, I’m going to see friends and its going to be great; but a 24 hour trip that will probably cost me £100 or more doesn’t fill my bank balance-obsessed brain with much joy.
Anyway I’m sat here bored as hell and I’ve realised that train journeys actually unnecessarily stress me out. Every single bit of the journey makes me anxious and the more I contemplate it, the more hate-filled reasons I have towards said train journey:
1. Booking a train ticket:
This may seem like the easiest part of the journey but for me it really isn’t. Which time shall I choose, have I picked the correct dates, have I gone and accidentally bought a day return instead of a month return – so I end up lingering on my train line app for hours, don’t pluck up the courage to book my ticket until the day before departure, and then pay a third more than when I looked a week ago. Go me.
2. Getting to the station:
Again it may seem relatively straight forward. I have legs, public transport is a well established thing and there’s always a taxi. But what if my bag is too heavy and I have to keep stopping or I get lost? What if the taxi or bus doesn’t turn up in time? What if there’s traffic? Naturally I end up factoring all these things in and arrive 45 minutes before the train is about to depart.
3. The station wait:
Daytime train: oh my god there are too many people I’ll never get a seat and have to stand for 3 hours.
Nighttime train: oh my god that dodgy looking guy with a beer in his hand is bound to mug me, push me on the tracks and leave me for dead.
Both scenarios are equally as distressing, trust me.
4. Finding a seat:
No booked seat: train is so overcrowded I end up sitting with my little (or in many cases way too big) case on the floor next to the toilet that smells of pungent wee.
Booked seat: do I tell the old couple to hop on up and go sit on said floor with the pungent wee? Of course I don’t; booked seat pointless.
5. The journey:
If I’m sat next to a window, great. Sleep with my mouth open, drool a little and wake myself up numerous times until destination. Passing countryside is also a bonus. Table seat? Always playing footsie with the person opposite and making weird inappropriate eye contact because I’m listening into the phone conversation she’s having. Facing backwards? Sick. The whole journey just feeling like I may puke on the suited and booted gentleman next to me. The window seat is the only win.
6. Getting off the train:
Ridiculous thoughts ensue – is this the correct station? Will I get off in time? Will someone be there to open that awkward handled train door or will I be stuck in this train forever?
Surely I cannot be the only one who has such an internal battle with trains? I detest them so deeply that if someone told me never to get on a train again I wouldn’t bat an eyelid yet I take them on such a regular basis as they are the easiest way to get around the UK. Would love to hear any other hates that you guys have to make the last hour of this journey a little more bearable!