People always say “Oh I just love travelling!” The truth is, they love destinations. I have never met a single person who says that sitting on a plane/train/car/bus for hours on end, even if the views are beautiful. I certainly dislike the act of travelling, and it’s not just because I weep every time I buy train tickets or book hotels. There’s an entire foray of things that can turn it into a nightmare. I always hate travelling on trains especially, even though it is my main mode of getting from A-B. It is when I get on trains that I wish I could drive.
When you have your ticket and make it through the barriers- remembering to take your Network Railcard with you- you get on the train. Sometimes it will be empty and peaceful, other times it is jam packed. It is normally the Paddington to Reading leg of my journey (and vice versa) that I particularly detest. There’s rarely a seat available. First class have it easy though, the First class carriages take up almost the majority of the train even though I’ve only ever seen six passengers inside it at any one time. That means us plebs are squashed into tiny spaces. The tube can often get very busy too, which I am not keen on since squashed spaces make me rather uncomfortable and anxious. Luckily there’s always a certain point where the trains empty and I’m left peaceful. Travelling through Cambridge from London today the train emptied. At last, i had some space! Until a family came and sat next to me. It would have been fine, if the youngest wasn’t as rowdy and fidgety. Okay, so he’s four old, but when I have to curl up on my seat to accommodate the fidgeting it’s horrible.
Bad environments also irks me. When I’m travelling it’s either too hot and stuffy or too cold. It’s never perfect. There’s always someone who insists on having the window open, even in winter, or having it closed in summer. Climates from the tube to outside change drastically. I want to strip off on the tube but the second I’ve resurfaced and the wind hits I’m shivering and wondering where the warmth went.
The most hellish part to a three and a half hour tube flight is the rude people that you may have the chance of crossing paths with. It’s the people who think they are more important than you. If they were they would probably be in first class, or have a personal chauffer and not need to take the train. It’s the moment when they bump into you and don’t say sorry, or cut in front of you just as you’re trying to lug your suitcase on/off or up the stairs. Today I got on the train to head back home and boarded at King’s Cross with four minutes to spare. As far as I could see there was one seat available. There were two actually but I could only access one.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” I asked two men sat in the area. I was being polite. One man curtly nodded and got back to reading Game of Thrones. The other, opposite me just let out a heavy sigh and looked at me. Way to make me feel welcome. I just looked at the man for five second waiting for him to answer me properly before he huffed and said “fine, okay” and waved his hand at the seat. I said thank you, to be polite, but I did’t feel like he deserved it. I would understand if he had booked the seat, or had someone to meet on the train but he didn’t. And I would like to point out that it is public transport and therefore not actually his seat to give away. How rude.
Maybe if the tube ran on time and didn’t get delayed I could have got a seat and not feel inferior to such an inhospitable man. Maybe he should have just been kinder as it was the only seat left, besides the one next to him. Thank goodness I didn’t sit next to him. Maybe I should just learn to drive.