Dutch Train Ticket Criminal

Dutch Train Ticket Criminal

I am a criminal. I have broken the rules of our society and paid the price. People will judge me for the rest of my life. As I walk down the street I already feel their disapproving eyes on me and I hear their hushed whispers to each other.

“Look… there goes the guy who forgot to buy a new train ticket.”

My crime is forgetfulness. Anyone who travels on the train with a monthly pass knows it is all too easy to forget it needs renewing during the early morning half asleep walk to the train station.

I only realized my mistake when I heard the familiar call, “Kaartjes Alsjeblieft,” from the train conductor who had entered the carriage to check everyone’s tickets.

I am an honest person. I didn’t try to pass my ticket off as being in date. When she approached me I apologetically explained my mistake and felt rather stupid. From the look on her face that followed I instantly knew I was in trouble. She was looking at me like she had just caught a hardened criminal stealing charity money from a children’s hospital. Apparently I had also taken their teddy bears just to be extra mean and make them cry.

“You don’t have to tell me if you do not wish to but why did you not buy a ticket?” She asked me with a stern face. It didn’t have the same ring as “you have the right to remain silent” but she said it as if trying to achieve the same level of seriousness and authority. Obviously no one messed with the train service when she was on patrol.

Over the course of the ‘telling off’ she asked me the same question several times. It was as if she was looking for a hole in my story, waiting for me to make one slip that would bring my whole web of lies (as she believed) crashing to the ground.

“I didn’t realize it had run out at the start of the week.” I told her truthfully. “I forgot to…”

“The start of the week?” She interrupted through clenched teeth. “You’ve been traveling with out a ticket for more then one day?”

She made a move that suggested she would have reached for a can of mace if she had one. From the way she talked I was half expecting to end up face down on the floor as she forcefully handcuffed my hands behind my back.

Suddenly the train carriage began to feel like a police interrogation room. I thought about asking for a lawyer or turn snitch and give up the names of other people with out tickets. There was no way I was becoming someone’s bitch in the slammer. Luckily I only had to pay a fine and I could put the plans for my prison break on hold.

I can live with the fact that I had to pay a fine for forgetting my ticket (even though I would have rather kept my money obviously); it might help me to remember next time. However I did not like the smug way the train conductor acted during the whole event. I was obviously a liar and a thief in her eyes. I got the impression she had failed the police force entrance exam and was taking it out on me.

The moral of the story: Never equip train conductors with firearms. Innocent people will die if they have had a bad day.

19 responses to “Dutch Train Ticket Criminal”

  1. Tina Dealy says:

    Doesn’t the tickets change to a prepaid “card” at the beginning of the year. You better apply now, so that lady doesn’t track you down and kick your butt! hee hee Tina

  2. JaG says:

    Too funny that you post this today because I went on a “field trip” to a public transport company with my kids today and they were allowed to ask passengers for tickets.

  3. Ale says:

    you should have answered her: well maam the reason i didn’t buy the ticket is because this is all part of my secret fantasy! i dont have a ticket and you ….punish me… punish me!! punish me!!

    seriously what answer did she expect???

  4. ChickyBabe says:

    maybe you should have missed the train and slept in a 24 hr restaurant :P

  5. BlondebutBright says:

    I am too familiar with the smugness you describe. It’s like they get a huge kick out of holding some imaginary moral upper hand.

    Get a life! Just hand out the ticket and move along.

  6. roxanne says:

    Sheesh. Talk about a power trip. I wonder if she does the same thing at home. :P

  7. ellen says:

    She sounds like a frustrated dominatrix. Was she wearing stiletto boots?

  8. Invader_Stu says:

    Tina Dealy – Eep. That’s the first I’ve heard about that.

    JaG – Teach them to be nice to honest forgetful people :)

    Ale – or I could lunch into a villain monologue. “Oh no. You have discovered my evil plan. How could I have been so foolish. Curse you train inspector lady. Curse your cleverness!”

    ChickyBabe – Once is enough :p

    BlondebutBright – That’s just how I feel. It really bugs me.

  9. Invader_Stu says:

    Roxanne – I would not be surprised if she did.

    Ellen – I’m not sure but I think I saw a whip

  10. Charlemagne Stavanger says:

    lol very nice :)

    the beginning of the story:
    “I am a criminal. I have broken the rules of our society and paid the price. People will judge me for the rest of my life.”

    and the end:
    “The moral of the story: Never equip train conductors with firearms. Innocent people will die if they have had a bad day.”

    I’m confused, who is the villian of the story?

  11. Aisling says:


    Thank goodness they caugt you, you menace!

  12. marycub says:

    It probably made her day – a bit of excitement in her boring train conductor day. I on the other hand honestly bought my ticket to london tuesday where it wasn’t checked once on the way there or back! So i could’ve gotten away with it!

  13. Invader_Stu says:

    Charlemagne Stavanger – By the end of the experience I was unsure myself :p

    Aisling – That’s what you think. I’m still on the run. They’ll never take me alive.

    Marycub – Don’t do it. you don’t want to become a evil villain like me.

  14. Elle says:

    It’s one of the things I like about British Rail compared to the NS. In fact, it’s the only thing that compares favourably.

    You don’t have to have a ticket before you start most journeys in the UK. And for the cases that you do need one but forgot about it, it’s easy to blag out of it without a fine.

    Why didn’t you tell her what most foreigners do? Look smug and start your defence with: “Well, in my country….”

  15. bill says:

    I could swear that I commented on this but it appears I’m mistaken xP

    Actually I’ve missed a few entries. My bad D=

  16. Rose says:

    You bad bad man you.

  17. Breigh says:

    Oh no, I’m not sure we should get together now, you being one of those unsavory types and all :P

  18. the weekend traveller says:

    Oh I exactly know what you mean about those conductors! I had a similar experience but of all places in Italy. And its not even that I forgot the ticket but I just forgot to stamp it. I even showed the conductor my return ticket to the Netherlands to try to convince him that I’m not using the same ticket again but he still slapped me with a 50euro fine.

  19. Ashley Moore says:

    If your job was to walk up and down a train and check the numbers of little pieces of paper, busting a perp is going to be the highlight of your day.

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