The Accidental Delay

Train Delay

As I stare out into the cold night air of Rotterdam from the station platform where I await the arrival of my train I realize that I am a man who has been lied to. I am a man who has been wronged… I am a man suffering injustice.

The train time table clearly stated that the next train to Dordrecht would be arriving at platform 7 at 23:01 but it is 23:02 and there is no train in sight. I am annoyed. It is not the first time a train time table has lied to me.

The platform’s electronic information board provides me with no assistance either. Instead it simply sits there, blank, suggesting that the train has been cancelled all together.

“This really takes the biscuit.” I mutter under my breath bitterly, evoking snack food to punctuate my anger at the sheer injustice of it all.

Sure it is only a minute but that is not the point. I’m not just annoyed about this delay but all the delays we have all had to suffer in our lives. All the unexpected technical difficulties, broken signals and leaves on the line we have all had to endure.

It becomes clear to me what must be done. We the passengers must unite. They cannot ignore us all if we unify. We must rise up as one and in a united voice tell them, “One minute is not an expectable delay.” Oh yes! As the spirit of rebellion rises inside me I decide that I will be that first voice. I will be heard. If they think I’m going to let them get away with this any longer they have another thing coming. If they think I’m simply going to stand here on platform 6 and…

“Oh no!”

My internal rant suddenly comes a halt as I realize my horrible mistake. I am standing at platform 6. I should be standing at platform 7. Platform 7 is directly behind me… and so is my train.

I spin around just in time to see the doors of the 23:01 to Dordrecht closing. It’s so close I can almost touch it. How could I have failed to notice an entire train arriving directly behind me?

All I can do is simply watch as my train slowly pulls out of the station and begins its journey towards Dordrecht. I Sigh and check the train time table. The next train is at 23:31.

13 responses to “The Accidental Delay”

  1. Alison says:

    There’s nothing more frustrating than having righteous anger turn into self-embarrassment.

  2. Brandon says:

    Has this happened to me on more than one occasion? Maaaaaaybbbbbeeeee…..

    That said, I’m still irked by the NS and their decision to stick with an inclement weather/reduced schedule through the middle of last week, three full days after things around here were back to normal, weather wise. Also: there’s all the “tricksy” tactics the organization’s upper brass have employed to ensure that they’ll get their annual bonuses, despite all the delays.

  3. Paolo says:

    Gosh! Do you realise that after complaining for a 1 minute delay, you can be now officially considered Dutch???

  4. Invader Stu says:

    Alison – And that happens to me a lot… the self-embarrassment part :p

    Brandon – I know right. I thought it was crazy that all the ice and snow was gone but they stuck with reduced trains as well. What was the point?

    Paolo – I’m doing everything I can to integrate :p

  5. Yvette says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I once did something far more stupid- when in Munich I confused train platforms altogether and went off on one I didn’t want to go on. So that was a good way to induce panic… full story here if you’re interested cause I’m too lazy to retype the whole thing- http://whereisyvette.com/2009/03/13/neuschwanstein-and-why-you-should-always-double-check-your-train-ticket/

  6. Sabrina says:

    Hahaha! That so could have been me :)

  7. Aledys Ver says:

    In your defense, let’s not forget it was 23:01 – hard to think straight at that time of the night.

  8. Invader Stu says:

    Yvette – Oh, I have done that one too so I know just how you feel.

    Sabrina – I’ll keep an eye out for you the next time it happens to me :p

    Aledys Ver – It’s hard for me to think any time day or night

  9. Oh, God. This reminds me of having to deal with French SNCF trains, and how on one occasion a friend and I missed our early morning ride because there were TWO trains on the same rail. The one we were *supposed* to take wasn’t even on the spot where the timetable had listed it. –.–

  10. Terri says:

    So funny…and there’s nothing quite like righteous indignation turning into mortifying humiliation. Yes, personal experience talking.

  11. Invader Stu says:

    Barb – I don’t think I would survive French trains by the sounds of it.

    Terri – I have tons of personal experience in that area.

  12. Nienke says:

    “How could I have failed to notice an entire train arriving directly behind me?”
    [rantmode activated] Well I don’t know how you managed, but I did it once. I was doing an attempt to read ‘Fathers and Sons’ for my studies, which I didn’t find particularly amusing, but apparently amusing enough not to notice my train had already arrived and was now leaving directly behind my back. It frustrates me even now, for I ended up having a *three* hour delay because of it. (It’s not that a blue horse with a hat on was asking me to dance a tango with him in order to save the lives of six ugly ducklings in the jaws of a massive crocodile, now that would have been completely worth the three hours). [/rantmode]

  13. Bert says:

    I was in Utrecht one year waiting to go to The Hague when there was an announcement over platform changes etc. One Dutch chap was very angry that there were 4 different trains that had difficulty and were cancelled or delayed. I told him that he should consider himself lucky because I don’t think we even have 4 trains that run in Canada.

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