I’m an equal opportunity traveller it seems. I hate them all equally. Apparently the best part about arriving somewhere is the journey but I live in hope that one day teleportation becomes a viable and non-law of physics breaking mode of travel.
The thought of having to get from point A to point B via any means of transportation fills me with dread and rage. What causes this dislike of mobilisation, and why do I love travelling if I don’t like the process of getting there?
Today is then start of a new era in my daily commute, in have lost a ten minute walk to work (and with it a long lie in) and as a result of being in a one car family I’m having to make my journey by the venerable British rail network.
Now I don’t expect the 0818 train to Birmingham New Street to be the Orient Express, nobody is going to welcome on board the crowded cattle carriages with a chilled glass of Moet & C or a choice of morning tea, but something about public transport really raises my hackles.
Firstly there is the waiting, you can’t start your journey when you want it is dependant on the whims of a randomly managed transport infrastructure. Today the train is 0818, tomorrow it’s 0835. Thankfully any transfers have been perfectly tunneled so a delay of more than 2 seconds means a missed train.
The rest of this post has been cancelled due to the wrong kind of letters on the line.
I am hungry, and I’m hungry at 29,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. I have 3 hours before I land and then an hours queue through customs before I can even think about feeding myself with some aging sandwich.
This is because I am currently experiencing that feeling anyone who travels by air feels at some point, the pangs that come with being unable to eat the unpalatable concoctions that will be placed in front of you by a gurning stewardess who wants to know do you want disgusting Dish A or Dish B? It’s the hard or rock place choice of inflight food.
When Jean Valjean says “If I speak I am condemned, if I stay silent I am damned” I can’t help put feel this is how most think when presented with the sealed foil containers on a tray. Do I condemn my stomach to a mushy orange lump, or stay silent and damn myself to hunger?
After losing my car for a week I realise the freedom and independence it provides. Plus the fact I hate public transport. Well, I hate the public aspect of it anyway.
Getting a car back reminds me of all the things I hate about driving. Guess what? Most of the causes of my road rage involve other people. Be warned…crass stereotyping ahead.
- Women drivers not letting you out of junctions.
- Male drivers jumping out in front of you at junctions.
- Drivers of German engineered cars who won’t vorsprung Durch technik and use their indicators.
- Middle lane hogs.
- Fast lane hogs.
- Slow lane hogs.
- Lorries and bus drivers. Yes you are bigger…yes I would come of worse in a crash. But it is your livelihood you are gambling on
The thought of any journey makes me feel like I’m living in Middle Earth. It’s going to take months to do, requires needless preparation and fraught with pointless diversions. And spiders. Long haul journeys are monstrous undertakings, expensive and time consuming.
The other factor that my travel rants have highlighted is the one that concerns me the most. It’s the public aspect of such adventures. I feel a bit like Bilbo, unwilling to go and wondering who all these people are around me. This is why I like living in a small country, any journey (unexpected or otherwise) is going to be a quick.
I may even walk.
(Only joking, I’m lazy I’ll just jump in the car).
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles.”
You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)