February 28, 2008

Guest post: Train troubles

Posted in Daily life, Les français tagged , , , , at 6:28 pm by Lauren

Today Chez Schmanz has a guest post from someone who’s having a very different experience in France than I am: my husband. He sent me this story by email this morning, and I thanked my lucky stars that I don’t have to actually commute. So, without further adieu, here’s Allen’s story.

“I got to the train station around 7:45 am and heard an anouncement that a TGV broke down at Maisons-Alfort and none of the trains outbound would stop there or any of the next four stops. The announcement continued, saying that if you needed to get to any of those stations, you should take the train to the next station (six stops outside Paris) and switch to an inbound train. So, I followed the advice of the RATP and got on the next train. I got off at the next station, Villeneuve St George, and then crawled through the herds of people waiting for an inbound train. I managed to squeeze on the HIVA going into Paris only to watch helplessly as Le Vert de Maison flurried by the window. It is then that I discovered that the inbound trains were also not stopping at any of those stations and ended up right back in Gare de Lyon. I would say “ended up at Gare de Lyon without any hair” but I had not ripped it all out…yet.

“After some reflection about whether I was maybe still asleep and having a bad dream, or maybe had died in my sleep and gone to the Parisian train station version of hell, I went back to the platform where I had started 45 minutes earlier and waited for the next train.
By that point, the TGV had been moved out of the way and the trains were stopping at all the stations again. After some not-so-nice words to describe what RATP could do with their “conseil” that had me in Villeneuve, I got on the train and managed to get into the office around 9:30–two hours after I left the apt. To make matters worse, Daniele [Allen’s boss] arrived at Gare de Lyon around 8:30, about 20 minutes after I had mounted the train to Villeneuve and got into the office without the slightest problem.  In fact, she thought I had just slept in. Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and give in to the insanity…or go to Malta and not think about work and France for a week.”

You’ve got to love French transportation. Anybody else have bad commute stories?


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