How much better it is to ride a train, listening to the metallic wagging of the cars along a predetermined stretch of landscape than to fly above ground or drive along a highway. Usually better for the environment, too. But despite the nostalgic conjuring, the relaxing atmosphere and the grand views on offer (or internet access that allows one to stare at a screen instead if one is so inclined), I say enough is enough. Let me give my revised train experience.
I was at the opening ceremony of Uppsala International Short Film Festival last night. During the socializing to follow, the company and drinks were so good I decided to stay an extra hour and take the last train home. I checked the train schedule in a hurry and noted a train scheduled to depart for Stockholm just after 11pm. So I had another drink. It ran a bit late, but I made it to the station. Bought a ticket in the machine by the platform. Climbed on board. All’s well that ends well. But no, the train conductor wouldn’t accept my ticket. Turns out I had bought it in the red machine instead of the blue (or was it the other way around? Either way, the bureaucracy involved felt very Swedish). And that the train I thought I was on only ran Fridays, “clearly marked” in the timetable with an F for Fredag.
So I was on a different train, operated by a different company with their own, different machines outside. I gave the conductor a bit of lip as I dug out my credit card again and paid for train journey that were to involve a change of trains and take twice as long as the one I intended to take. Bah! Trainbug! Good thing Uppsala offered such great entertainment in terms of films and events that I still ended up going to bed in a good mood. Next time, I’ll either take better notice of the fine print in the timetable, or I’ll take my Subaru.