Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

It’s become a tradition to begin my travel posts with how much I hate travelling. Much to the despair of my cat and more to my own despair, I travel quite a bit. My latest achievement is a completed business trip to Gdansk, Poland, which took twelve hours on the train, and which I survived. I can’t say I survived unharmed.

Three-quarters into the return journey from Gdansk, the train waited in a random station for one hour. Allegedly, the scheduled stop served the mechanics to swap the train engine. I believe that it mostly served the train driver to take a coffee and cigarette break. I joined him, wondering if only staff or also weary travellers are exempted from the smoking ban at the platform. Anticlimactically, there was no one to enforce the law.

As I was getting back on the train, I failed to mind the gap between the carriage and the platform. I fell literally under the train. In shock rather than pain, I climbed up unassisted and was relieved to find that I neither tore my new jeggings nor scratched my favourite boots. I was less satisfied later at home when I stripped and discovered that my leg was swollen and badly bruised. The bruise isn’t going away, but I’m proud to provide the canvas for a colourful work of art.


My next trip was supposed to be a straightforward three-hour stint on a train from point B to point A. However, this is where point C comes in. The trip was doomed from the start, and the universe let me know by preventing my morning alarm from ringing. I woke up an hour later, got bravely ready in half my usual time and off to the train station I ran. The train was forty-five minutes late.

Still not listening to the universe, because who’d believe in such nonsense, I dragged myself and my belongings to the platform as swiftly as I could when the arrival of the train was announced. I double-checked the platform number, minded the gap between the train and the platform and hopped in the carriage. It was a train to point C.


I thought it curious that the seating layout of the train was completely remade since I last saw it, and it was no improvement. I had trouble finding my business class compartment. I walked the length of the train up to the engine, but my seat failed to materialise. With trust, I approached for directions a stiff staff member in a starched uniform. I presented my ticket and seat reservation.

The uniform inspected my ticket with confusion. “What’s that?” he inquired. “What’s what?” I inquired. The man stared. I stared. It was beginning to dawn on me. “Don’t dare to tell me I’m on the wrong train,” I begged. “You’re not only on the wrong train, you’re in the wrong direction with a wrong company, lady.” The man was merciless. I screamed.

The man far from politely suggested that I step aside BECAUSE WE AREN’T DISCUSSING THIS IN THE FIRST CLASS. In the aisle in between the carriages, I went on screaming inwardly and cursing trains, travelling, tribbles, the system, the president and the whole universe. After I finished banging my head against the toilet door, I asked the uninvolved uniform what he was going to do with me. As if I weren’t sufficiently punished for my idiocy already.


I was sold a ticket to the nearest station for double the price, seated in a quiet compartment and warned to keep my mouth shut. No phone calls, not even one call to my lawyer, whom I don’t have anyway. The nearest station was an hour away. While I did allow sufficient time to get in my destination, I didn’t count in a pleasure trip in the opposite direction and back. The original trip was now off.

I considered throwing myself under a train Anna Karenina-style, but I decided it would be reckless towards fellow travellers who could still get in their destinations in time. So on returning to my starting point, I limped home, much to the satisfaction of the cat. As a cute coda to a lovely day, I proceeded to break a website I’m working on and lock myself out of admin. Within a few days, also the mystery of my malfunctioning phone alarm was explained, when my phone collapsed entirely. What a delightful time. I blame the tribbles.

31 thoughts on “Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

  1. Oh Mara! The travel gods do not smile on you do they?! Hope your leg is getting better. Probably shouldn’t admit to finding that amusing, but it’s the way you tell it! Great post x

    Like

    1. I clearly annoyed the travel gods. They discovered that I hate them and they’re punishing me for my lack of enthusiasm about travelling… I’m glad that you were amused! That’s the idea 😀 I didn’t break my leg, so I have nothing to complain about really!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Gracious you poor thing! It probably doesn’t make you feel better to know this, but the way you described your “adventure” was really funny! I hope your next trip is tribble/trouble free….and actually free wouldn’t be so bad either!

    Like

    1. I do actually feel better that my adventure made someone smile or even laugh a little 🙂 Always when I’m having a hard time, I’m thinking that it’s a great blogging material for which I should be grateful 😉 I’m not sure if my next trip will be free (though it would be a lovely compensation), but I will make sure that I’m getting on the right train as well. So many things to think of when travelling!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear me. You really don’t have much luck when it comes to travel. On the upside, it’s all inspired a blog post that made for an entertaining read. I do hope your leg is feeling much better soon.

    Like

          1. My husband and I have a story about an epic journey to rescue a squirrel that everyone thinks we embellish to make more bizarre but actually we omit some of the details to streamline the anecdote a bit. The phrase “You couldn’t make this stuff up” exists for a reason.

            Like

  4. Brave on! Sometimes I wish too that I could just shut myself in because no matter how much planning you put into a trip – there is almost always a snag. And don’t you just hate that?

    Like

    1. I know, right, no matter how much planning goes into travelling, something nearly always goes wrong! Here’s to happy travelling with no injuries, no tribbles and no wrong turns!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost forget to wish you a fast healing :O !
      Get well soon! And I sure hope your next trip will be peaceful and uncomplicated.

      Like

  5. I’ve mostly heard all the adventurous and happy stories about travelling but yours is quite opposite. I hope this changes in the future for you. Wish you speedy recovery too. 🙂

    Like

    1. I’m glad that you liked my somewhat different travel story 🙂 Happy things usually bore me, so I prefer to blog about misfortunes, preferably my own. At least it’s good for something, isn’t it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well, I totally understand why no one will ever travel with me anywhere now :-O I thought I was kind to the universe, but I must have inadvertently disrespected it. I’m waiting for the universe’s next step!

      Like

  6. How could no one help you when you fell under the train?! In this case, I am sure the fact a crowd will come in handy.

    I should not be laughing at this post and your misery but I am nonetheless laughing.

    Hope the leg’s alright?

    Like

    1. Oh well, I think no one noticed that I fell under the train, whatever… I’m glad that nothing serious happened and the bruises are now gone too 🙂 It’s my pleasure to make you laugh, that’s the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. …This sounds terrible – poor you!!! The crap of several companies owning transportation… I hate that! It’s so confusing and just plain nonsense… Public transport should be free, anyhow! There! *screamingrebeliouslyandpunchingtheair*

    Like

Say what?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.