SJ on the Move

Friday, August 11, 2006

Gleis 7. Nein, Gleis 9. Nein, Gleis 7.

My high school German teach used to talk about how German trains were always on time. After living in Germany for a month and a half, I can tell you that is not true. Certainly not all trains.

There are two train systems in Germany. There are the high speed intercity trains, and those generally run on time. And then there are the regional trains, somewhat akin to the commuter rail back in Boston, and those trains are very frequently late.

After passing through the mob to the get to the Cologne trainstation, we managed to pick out a train back to Bonn. The train station in Cologne is incredibly busy. Some 1,200 trains pass through there every day.

The previous train leaving for Bonn was already 45 minutes late, and still hadn't arrived. So, we looked on the departure list and headed to track 7. SJ was already pretty tired, so she was in her stroller and we decided to just carry her up the stairs to the platform since we didn't see any elevators. The subway stations in Cologne all had elevators, but it seemed they also doubled as public urinals - as evidenced by the smell - so we didn't look too hard for an elevator in the train station.

So after climbing the stairs with the stroller we were waiting on track 7 when they made the announcement "We're sorry, but the train to Bonn will instead be arriving on Track 9". So, we picked up SJ in her stroller, carried her down the stairs, over the track 9, and back up the stairs to track 9.

Pretty much the exact second that her stroller touched down we hear "We're sorry, but the train to Bonn will instead be arriving on Track 7". Before we even had a chance to try and decide whether we could again carry her down and back up the stairs, we see the train indeed arriving two platforms over on Track 7.

So, we - along with everyone else who wanted to go to Bonn - decided there was no way to make that train. So, we waited for the next one. Unfortunately, this meant that there were ALOT of people wanting to get on the next train, which was already quite late itself. When the train finally did pull up, there were no seats to be had.

I don't know what the exact rules of chivalry are, but if an adult male is carrying a 2 year old girl, shouldn't someone offer him a seat for the little girl? Evidently not.

So, it was a bit a rough trip home from Cologne, but we were still glad for the adventure.


At 2:46 PM, Blogger Jill said...

One of the best parts of reading your blog (besides all the lovely pictures of SJ) is the realization again and again that we are glad we are living in the United States and not in Germany, when we might otherwise be jealous of your overseas opportunities.


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