The Train Fiasco...
Trip Start Feb 01, 2006
29Trip End Jul 22, 2006
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I had everything booked to go to Berlin from the 1st June till the 5th of June, by myself. I was catching the night train which left at 20:39 and took approximately 6 hours to get to Berlin. On a normal day it takes 20 minutes to get from the university to the main train station in Cologne, by tram. The whole time I have been in Cologne, trams have never arrived late or early. On this night the 20:00 tram i was supposed to catch was 3 minutes early so I missed that one. It was ok since there was another arriving in 10 minutes. Unfortunately this turned out to be about 15 minutes later...
To add to my dismay I was also on the tram with the slowest tram driver imaginable. He stopped at each station for about 30 seconds longer than he had. Needless to say I was a wreck by the time the tram arrived at the destination and the time on my watch read 10:38. A small glimmer of hope. I bolted past everyone and made it up to the platform only to watch my train close the doors and leave the station without me.
Anyway I was determined to get to Berlin so I went back downstairs to purchase a 90 Euro ticket for the next train. I thought my luck finally turned when a German gentlemen saw I was buying a ticket and offered me his for 20 Euro, since he could not use it in the time required.I was very grateful and he was genuinely trying to help me. he even pointed me to the right platform. So there I sat at the train station until 12:30 waiting for my next train.
I actually caught this one this time. Once I boarded and was on my way, feeling more relaxed, I got another rude shock for the evening. I managed to get the rudest, strictest ticket inspector imaginable. Now normally ticket inspectors check the date, stamp your ticket and off they go. Oh no, not this son of a bitch. He wanted to make my life a living hell. He reminds of the kind of guy who likes to make people miserable, must make him happy. Written in pen on the ticket was the gentlemen name who I bought the ticket from. The ticket inspector demanded to see my passport (which I didn't have on me). After telling him I didn't have it 3 times, he started yelling at me, most of it in German. He said that I would be fined. So then I explained my situation to him and like a typical, uncompassionate German, he didn't give a shit. So by that stage I was fed up and started giving him a lesson in Aussie swearing to show my disliking of him.
I pulled out my ticket from Cologne that allows me to get off at Dusseldorf for free. Much to his distaste, he didn't get to fine me and with a quick one finger salute from me, off he went. So then I had to make my way back to Cologne. By the time I got home it was 3am and I was exhausted and frustrated. So that was it for my mid semester holiday, a trip to Dusseldorf. At least I can look back at this one and laugh...