Travelling by train

The train is something, which children (especially boys) hanker after travelling with, but for adults it can be sometimes a synonym of commuting with discomfort. Especially the line between Frýdek-Místek and Ostrava may be such an example. Nevertheless, swearing and complaints of locals do not cause any improvement as a plenty of other places in our small republic.

Commuting to work and school are the most frequent reasons why we use this means of transport, but what about family and partners. For many of us a distant relationship is something we give up before it even starts. Fortunately, my husband did not take against me when his studies began in Prague. Perhaps our biggest aid in overcoming the distance between us was the aforementioned train. Therefore, I have decided to share a few of my extraordinary experiences with you.

One of the oldest happened while travelling from Ostrava to Prague. Due to a bad bus connection to Ostrava I had to wait for more than 90 minutes at the railway station so I killed my time reading a book. Reading excitedly I almost missed my train! Finally, I had to run to the platform, and when I got there, I saw the train standing at the platform, and no people getting on which could mean the train is about to leave at any second. In a moment, I jumped into the nearest carriage, but, unfortunately, my reserved seat was situated in the rear carriage, and I stood with my huge suitcase in the first one. So I started to crawl slowly through the crowds standing in the aisle (reservation was only optional, and that’s why people mostly do not bother with it to save money). The train was amazingly full and getting through took me a few minutes before I stood in the aisle in front of my carriage. Maybe by accident there was a concentration of students without reservations the worst and at first it seemed impossible to me to get through. At that moment the doors to the next carriage opened, and two policemen were coming toward me. Perhaps I looked too exhausted already, or they noticed my huge baggage, so they told me with a smile that if they had been me, they would not have gone there – the last is totally overcrowded. That scared me, but I told them I had to go there. When I finally really got there, my seat was occupied, of course, by somebody who had no reservation, so I just showed my ticket and the woman had to leave, which made her no pleasure. Yeah, that was a difficult beginning of my journey.

One autumn Sunday afternoon, I got on the train (again without required seat reservation booking), and I would never guess what could happen. I sat at my booked place as usually and remembered that one friend of mine mentioned, she was going to spend the weekend in Prague at the same weekend, too. So I wrote her a message and was waiting for her answer. At that time the train set on the long journey to Ostrava and was, as always, extremely overcrowded – which could not make me any excitement, but two elderly women were standing above me in the aisle. After a while, they understood nobody was to leave them his or her place, and they started to complain loudly how terrible we are to let pensioners stand in the aisle. In order for you to understand my point - I am used to leaving my seat to elderly people, but imagine the situation we were in – you are to travel 3 and half (maybe even more) hours to Ostrava, and so you prepare yourself well to avoid the posibility of standing entire journey and buy for yourself a seat for extra 70 Crowns. And suddenly there appeared two pensioners who rather saved that money and suddenly they were astonished we all stayed sitting at our places and pretended not to hear them. Then my phone buzzed and to my big surprise my friend was really on the same train and there was even one vacancy in her carriage. So to the surprise the others and especially these angry women I stood up, took all my things and really left them to their unstoppable complains – one of them was still let to be standing. How terrible we were!

The third case, and hopefully the last one, happened also on the way to Ostrava. I came to my pre-booked seat, and one thing I noticed immediately – the lights were off. After a while there appeared a stewardess who announced, unfortunately, that the carriage did not work and we (the other passengers and I) needed to move to other carriages. I am generally not happy about unexpected situations, and that went totally wrong – in our new carriage there was sitting an elderly woman next to me who was, perhaps, a supporter of “a natural way of life” – without shaving, deodorants and many other basic things in our current world. So to summon it up – she smelled horribly. But really! She stunk even of urine, I believe. So I started to panic, while it was high noon, and I was to order my lunch there but in the odour? Unimaginable! So I caught the first stewardess walking by and asked her about the possibility of changing my seat. She seemed to me very displeased with my requirement but promised to look to the system. After ten minutes waiting, I noticed the carriage right next to ours was completely empty. So I just easily grabbed all my stuff and moved there. After a while she noticed me and informed me this exact seat can be pre-booked for somebody else with which I agreed, of course, and promised to move right away at the moment somebody would come. Finally, after ordering my wished lunch I mentioned the odour to her in the next carriage and you should have seen the change in her face – yeah, I see, of course, you should have told us about it! Funny!

As you can surely see travelling by train can get so much complicated once in a blue moon – so good luck the next time you are going by one. 

7/28/16




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Travelling by train B