It was early in the morning and I was still half asleep. The train I was sitting in was already running late because of either a engine malfunction, leaves on the track or a space time anomaly. I was not sure which because, after all, I was still half asleep. The important thing to know was that it meant we were arriving in Amsterdam ten minutes later than normal.
Being on a delayed train can sometimes be quite funny. You’ll often hear quite a few people chuckling to themselves. Not because the train is delayed (as that would suggest they have lost their minds) but because of the unintentionally funny apologies often made by the train conductors. On trains to Amsterdam especially they will often try to make their announcements in both English and Dutch, with varying degrees of success. In fact, they will sometimes be half way through a sentence when they suddenly realise that it has all got a little too complicated. That will be the moment when they just randomly grab at any English word that comes to mind in a panic. However, this morning the train conductor decided to deal with it a little differently.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Unfortunately we have arrived in Amsterdam…”
He suddenly paused. We waited. It went on for a while… And then, he simply decided to abandon the sentence.
“Have a nice day.”
It had almost been possible to hear him thinking over the intercom. I think the words he had been looking for were, “with a delay of 10 minutes,” but we will never know for sure. It is entirely possible that he just really does not like Amsterdam.