Public Transport in the Wintertime…

There has to be something positive to say about today… it might come to me, when I think long enough… Well, I had my first training session at Kieser Training and I think I like it. I still feel some of my muscles although I only worked on five machines. Next week there will be two more sessions with a trainer and the mandatory appointment with the ortho doc and after that I will get my personal training schedule. It’s a good thing that I start to work out and try to get into shape. Work is still very easy going, so that’s not to bad either. But the rest of today. Sucked. Very much so.

Since the winter finally arrived in our area on Monday – obviously all of a sudden and suprisingly for public transport companies – public transport kind of broke down. During the last two days the train I have to get on in my hometown was at least 15 – 20 minutes late. This train leave here twice the hour (in a very stupid 20/40 minutes interval, but that’s a different story). Both trains were not on time at all. Which of course meant that I missed the second train I have to change to in another town. This train has a similar bi-hourly schedule and strangely enough was always more or less on time. These trains are operated by a different rail company the majority of the trains in our metro area. But they all use the same tracks so I don’t know how that can happen. Anyway… 
This morning I decided to get up earlier than usual so that I can catch a delayed train here to change to the second one I usually get on and be at work at my regular office hours. When I checked the internet for the current time table (thank God for that possibility!) I found out that both trains were canceled. Both after 8 a.m. and even the first one after 9 a.m. Perfect… I remembered that I can also got to work on a different (but longer) route, the opposite actually, instead of going east and north I went west and north this morning. Or I planned to.
The train left my hometown on time and I arrived at the station where I had to change trains on time. But this second train was canceled. In fact the whole track was closed for some technical reasons. There would have been some kind of rail replacement service by taxis, but I thought that it would take ages to get all the way to Essen with that. So I decided to get back on a train and go even further west, all the way to our state capital: Düsseldorf, which is not even part of the metro region I’m living and working in. But there I was able to catch a train to my workplace in Essen. This train was on time and it wasn’t even crowded and I had a long enough break in between to buy a coffee mug and a coffee at Starbucks :-). I arrived at work close to 11 a.m. I usually start at 9.30 a.m. and when I got up this morning I hoped to get there by 10 a.m. So 11 am wasn’t that bad…

This afternoon I went to the Kieser Training and after it ended I knew I woul miss my preferred of the two possible trains home by a few minutes. Preferred because it’s the only one where I can easily and fast change to the second train for the trip back to my hometown. With the other one I have to wait almost 30 minutes, which always sucks. In fact it doesn’t matter which of these two trains I take in Essen, in the end I have to change to the same train. That’s actually the core of the story about the stupid 20/40 schedule of this train. Anyway, I had almost an hour to kill in Essen, so I grabbed some food and went to a bookstore and instead of walking to the main station I decided to take the underground. It was cold and snowing and just nasty outside.
I got down to the platform only to read about errors and delays and such… Perfect! It was too late to get back up and walk so I could only hope for an underground to arrive soon. And it didn’t really took that long but too long after all, because I arrived at the main station exactly when “my” train left. Perfect!
For a moment I thought about taking the eastern route again. But of course this track was still closed. So all I could to was wait about 30 minutes for the less preferred train to get on. Which was on time (different company?) unlike 90% of the other trains. At least it looked and sounded like literally every train from or to wherever was at least 15 minutes late. Except mine. Which also made it really really crowed…. I used the last energy of my cell phone battery to call Bro2 and begged that someone come and pick me up at a station in between, which is just a 10 minute car ride from our town. And he agreed. Yay for that and Bro3 was there at the agreed station and so at least I was home close to 7pm instead of 7.45 pm. But it all sucked.

Even more sucked the guy at the station in Essen who thought I needed some information about train schedules and routes and everything. Just because I was standing at the bottom of the stairs and looking at a few sheets of paper. I was standing at the bottom because it was not as cold as up on the platform and I was just reading something. But he felt the need to “help” me and as often as I assured him that I didn’t need help / knew which train I had to take / when that train would leave and on which platform… he wanted to help me. I could have slapped him! Maybe I should have, because even after we had finally agreed upon that neither did I need his help nor did he knew more than me, he didn’t stop talking to me. Told me some stories of his brother in the hospital and how to get there and I really really had a hard time to note yell “Shut up and leave me alone, you stupid moron!” I’m much too polite, I guess :-)

So, that was the story of today… let’s see how it all will work out tomorrow. I dread going to work and if I hadn’t have a meeting in the afternoon I probably would just take the day off, when the traffic situation is still the same tomorrow. I thought about that this morning already (taking today off), but there was the scheduled training at the gym. I know I complain about my work every once in a while, but at least we’ve got very flexible working hours and it’s no drama when I arrive at work later than planned. Because otherwise at these weather conditions I would have to leave probably 60 additional minutes earlier in the morning. But all in all I’m happy that tomorrow’s my last day of work after all. I am fully booked on the weekend, so I have to make good use of the free Friday.I actually planned to read some school stuff tonight, but that was I got home much later than expected. And before I felt the need to rant about how much public transport sucks sometimes…

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