Friday, 9 July 2010

Day 3 - Thursday, 8th July 2010

Totally uneventful! The morning journey is becoming routine, which is good as I seem now to be losing the panicy temptation to jump on the first train I see. Very good, that, because usually the first train I see is going to Aachen. Now, I really like Aachen, it's up there with my favourite German cities (Hamburg and Köln for anyone who is taking notes) but I don't work there. I work, by public transport, at least 2-and-a-half hours in the other direction.

Where was i? (not Aachen - haha)

Oh yes. As the journey is becoming routine I'm able to relax a little more during the journey and surrepticiously observe my fellow commuters. Here's where the (non-existant) spy-training comes in useful. The only one of note so far, that I've seen every day is a chappie who wears black trousers with a very chunky key-chain depending from the waistband, a very thick-looking blouson jacket and one of those winter-fleecy headbands. His is black and he wears it over his eyes rather like Top Cat's sleep mask. (that reference is only for those of you old enough to remember the rather fabulous Top Cat. Truly, they don't make 'em like that any more).

Back to the strange chappie. His clothing seems unseasonal, but that's not what is odd about him. Also what isn't odd about him is the fact that he appears to be fast asleep. He's already on the train when I get on and is still there when I get off. No. The strange thing is that he sits in one seat and has a newspaper spread on the seat and part-way up the seat back of the seet opposite him. Becuase he has his feet up.

I can't help but feel that he can only enjoy this level of commutery comfort on a provincial commuter train. I fear that were he to try it in, say, Düsseldorf - which is not the friendliest city in these parts, it has to be said - he would soon find half a dozen youths perched on his outstretched legs.

OH! Here's a thought. I haven't actually seen him move. Maybe he died some while ago and nobody, because if you thought the British were reserved you really ought to get over here, has tried to wake him...

Tomorrow morning I'm going to see if I can check the date on his newspaper. At least we'll be able to establish an approximate date of death.

For the second day in a row I'd taken a skirt to work and this time some spiffy high-heeled sandles, which all fit rather nicely into my very handsome clip-on basket.

Homeward bound - the afternoon found me leaving early to take #1 Gruesome and myself off to the doctor for some jabs (both of us) and an annual check-up (me). Oh am I going to have a regular day of go to work, come home from work with nothing in between? Probably. But not today.

This time I went for the number 56 bus (same bus stop, rather boringly) which leaves at 47 minutes past the hour. Having hastily changed back into my (literally) pedal-pushers I sprinted (ambled - you'd be mad to sprint in this weather) to the stop and - lo! - the bus was on time. This one took me to Schloß Neersen where I jumped off and waited for the number 36 to take me to Mönchengladbach main station.

Unfortunately this version of the journey lasts a good 20 minutes longer than the ones I've used up to now and that 20 minutes is spent at the bus stop. But with the lovely weather and the bus stop being in the shade, it was an opportunity to read more of my current book. (50 Great Short Stories edited by Milton Crane)

Boringly the 36 arrived on time and wasn't overflowing so I managed to get a nice set of seats on the shady side of the bus. And off we meandered to Mönchengladbach which isn't a particularly nice town to look at but the countryside on the way is quite nice. The bus filled up slowly and for the last few stops I had both bags on my knee which isn't exactly uncomfortable but it is hot.

I gave up reading because one of the passengers was entertaining the whole bus. First she was a rather large young lady who had at least 3 bags with her. She plumped herself down on one of those groups of 4 seats (2 facing 2) and put her handbag on the seat next to her then filled the two seats opposite with her feet and her other two bags. If I were a little old lady I'd have done that shoulder tapping, pointed comment making thing but I'm not old enough... my time will come, however, so look out all future transgressors of the Unwritten Laws of Commuting.

That doesn't sound particularly entertaining. Annoying, definitely, but entertaining? No. The next thing, though, had the rest of the passengers entranced as she took out her phone and proceeded to hold a long, loud and very indiscrete conversation with (as it turned out) her mother. It concerned her (the large passenger) health, a possible pregnancy with a question about paternity and some other feminine-stylee medical issues. Yeurch.

The conversation ended with the words "now, mum, don't breathe a word of that to anyone, I don't want people to know" at which there was first a stunned slience. Then the 4 teenage girls sitting behind me let out such a huge screech of laughter that the rest of the passengers had no option but to join in.

Why oh why do they do it?

The rest of the journey, bus and spiffy double-decker train departing from Platform 5 at 16:49 was uneventful. I have high hopes for Friday, for Fridays are renowned for being the day that the nutters come out.


Feli said...

OMG, Sho, thank you for that! So funny! Just be glad you didn't have to get off the bus before the woman finished her phone convo...

Sho said...

I would have stayed on to find out what the whole story was