Saturday, November 19, 2005


Hell is other people having fun.

Getting to Cardiff station at 8.02 - just as the 8pm pulls out of the station (why are all trains out of Cardiff delayed unless you want to them to be?). Cardiff is also the only station in the world to have their station clock set five minutes fast, like a daffy receptionist.

What to do in 90 minutes until the next train? I had too much baggage to go to a bar and get drunk, so I went for Pizza. Big mistake. I'm still trying to work out what exactly it is that gives me crippling indigestion (onions? cheese? carbs? or just stuffing my face like a pig?), but by the time I made it onto the train I wanted to pass out. Or explode. Instead, I sat in the corner, belching like an Australian tourist.

I worked out I'd be back in town for 11.20 - just time for a quick gay drink and then bed.

Then the train stopped for an hour.

Cardiff trains do this. Often just for the heck of it. But tonight was different. After 50 minutes we were told that, two young gentlemen had locked themselves in a train toilet and the police had been called.

I was about to phone Gaynesty International and protest when an update came through. They'd only locked themselves in the loo when confronted by a ticket inspector. They'd threatened him, been aggressive, and then retreated to the bog.

The ticket inspector, shaken, had called the Transport Police. Of which there didn't seem to be any at Bristol Temple Meads. Perhaps there was a suspicious bun at Bath Spa.

Now, I'm all very supportive, naturally of the poor ticket inspector. These young men just didn't seem nice. And train employees should never be shouted at. Not even on Cardiff trains.

However, as I eventually staggered off the train at oh-god-half-one something struck me... Train companies are terribly keen on charters for respecting their workers, but quite happy to abandon their passengers.

I remembered catching the 8.30pm from Swansea one night, and spending an hour to Cardiff on a train full of drunken, screaming men, all looking for a fight. Did the train staff do anything to sort out this bear pit? Or did they take one look and bolt themselves in the driver's carriage leaving the passengers at the mercy of Swansea Lads? Yup.

It's not acceptable that we should be stranded for an hour just because of a lack of Transport Police at a major station. Actuallty, it's not acceptable that we should be stranded for an hour at all.

Anyway, my point is that four hours on a train, struck with bugger all to read (well, apart from The Times, and that no longer counts), and indigestion left me in a foul mood which hasn't lifted. I've spent the day in, waiting for a call to go to the gym, or meet in town for tea. And I've suddenly realised, the planned highlight of my day....?

A trip to a bathroom design showroom. Oh dear me, no.


Canary Warbler said...

I SO sympathise with you mister!.. i had a trip to some obscure place once.. oh yes - Wales i think it was, and had to contend with probably the same Swansea "massive", building a model of the Forth Road Bridge out of lager cans and basically verbally abusing everyone.

Like the macho hero i am, i got up, stormed towards them in a rage.... .... ran right past them and upgraded myself to 1st class to hide..


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