Well, here’s hoping that it is not an omen – but my train trip from Cologne to Hamburg today certainly did not go according to plan. All was well and nice until about halfway, when the train came to a slow but definite stop in the middle of fields – half an hour at least each way to the next station…
Took a little while until we got to know what had happened: The locomotive had broken down and we had no way of getting away from there for an unknown time. That also meant we had no air condition and the toilets couldn’t flush anymore… this could have gone really pear-shaped! Fortunately though, most of the passengers were in a very good mood and didn’t throw tantrums or go crazy. The personnel on the train did a very good job of showing their faces, trying to make us as comfortable as possible by first opening the small (locked!) windows, then opening the doors to allow a bit of a breeze, later giving out free water. However, as there was nothing to be done about the loo situation, that offer wasn’t taken up as much as they thought 😉
After around 2 hours, we finally heard that a replacement locomotive had arrived and yes, shortly after the lights came back, the air condition started again – and it was safe to use the toilets again! We also heard the joyous news that, once we had reached the next station, another train would make an extra stop there and rescue us. Big cheers and happy faces, followed by the question: But what time will we get to Hamburg now?
One guy provided a bit of entertainment: apparently he had boarded the train already pretty intoxicated with drink and just increased that by drinking can after can of beer. In doing so, he also succeeded in showering the poor train conductor (trying his best to solve the bigger problem) with abuse and got removed from his original place. He made his way through the train, being loud and rambunctious, only to be finally chased to the very back by the conductor – who clearly had had enough! The guy did cause a bit of a racket at the station as well, but in the end got a free ride in a police car with 3 policemen to keep him in check.
Sure enough, we did get to the station and boarded the other train, resulting in me now typing this sitting in first class opposite a very serious businessman 😉 The lady and her daughter who were sitting across the aisle from me got a little worried about how they would get to their hotel so late – I will take them under my wing once we get there.
Despite all this chaos and messed up schedule, I am very chilled, didn’t get annoyed at all (well, a bit at the grumpy teenager 😉 ) and just made use of my book. But I do hope that this hiccup was just an exception and will not be the rule for my whole walkabout 😛