The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 13, 2009


On our trip back from Gloucester over the weekend, we had to change trains at Swindon. Proudly bearing our seat reservations, we marched up to Coach D, and found a middle-aged couple sitting on our seats.

"Ahem," I said. "I think you're on our seats?"

The man shook his head. So did the woman.

"No reservations on this train," he said. "We've been on it since Cardiff."

I was so taken aback by this riposte that I wordlessly moved my jaw for a couple of minutes.

"But I have a reservation!" I then wailed, brandishing the tickets in his face.

"Go and sit somewhere else," said the woman, not unkindly, but not too politely either.

By now the boy was getting restless.

"Can we sit here?" he said.

"No," I said, and yet another illusion in his mind of his dad's almightiness was silently shattered.

I buttonholed the guard, who admitted that there were no reservations on this train.

"But I have a reservation!" I muttered.

"You can sit in First Class," he said helpfully.

So that's what we did.

Good to see that British railways, like their most prodigious scions, the Indian railways, are no less cavalier in their treatment of reservations. Still, First Class. That's something, innit?


Singaporean in London said...

I'm surprised that the couple didn't give up their seats. Shouldn't there be a ticket stub attached to the back of the seat to show that the seat has been reserved?

During our trip to York, the guide accompanying us had to ask quite a number of people to leave their seats as they were reserved for our group. There were some mutterings but they did eventually clear the seats.

Hope you guys had an entire 1st class cabin to yourselves.

Fëanor said...

Nope, there were no stubs - which is why the guard said there were no reservations. As for the first class cabin, we didn't entirely have it for ourselves - there was a bunch of posh military officers on furlough returning to base after a stag do, and they were busy spewing four-letter words (in a posh accent) so we kept covering the boy's ears through the journey.

Maddy said...

that was a reverse Gandhi treatment, i suppose!! and well, conversation in Britain is strewn with choice 4 letter words , especially the younger crowd, so it wont be before before you will learn more from the boy..

ever read - londonstani? try it

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