Saturday, 13 October 2007

Train to London

I got a train from Reading to London Paddington this morning along with lots of other people. The train had come from Oxford and was only 3 short carriages long. We filled the seats and so some people had to stand and even more people got on at Slough. I was amazed to see that the seat in front of me was occupied by a coat and a bag. Sitting next to these articles was a young lady of east Asian origin. She was totally oblivious that the seat was needed by several people. A man walked onto the carriage at Slough, put his heavy bag on the floor and pointedly looked at the seat and then at the woman. I don't think the woman noticed. He must have been English because he did a typically English thing and said nothing to her at all. After another pointed look, he turned away and spent the rest of the journey standing next to the 'empty' seat.
I found out later that she did not speak or understand English so I wonder, was it a culture thing on her part that she didn't think to move the articles or was she just very self centered, or simply in culture shock?

There must have been an International football game because there was a high police presence at the station and many boys and men were dressed in their replica England football shirts. The tube was like riding in a sardine can.

The return journey in the evening found me on a train to Taunton. I walked right to the front of the train - about 4 times longer than the morning one. It was crowded with families, singles, couples and football fans. There were lots of tickets on seats denoting those that had been booked. I was really pleased to find a pair of seats that had been reserved from Reading to Taunton, so I settled comfortably in and waited. Unfortunately this bliss did not last long because their was a message to say that all people in the carriage I was occupying had to vacate it and find another seat! The door to this carriage would not shut and they didn't want to lose anyone during the journey. How thoughtful!

The train was delayed for 20 minutes altogether for another safety technical reason and as we were setting off we had a message apologising for this delay and announcing that the buffet car had run out of beer. Ha ha. At least the lovely seats would be kept clean.