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London, Part 2

By Brian | June 14, 2006 | Share on Facebook

More goings-on from the UK:

We had a successful day at work, including navigating the commuter trains to & from the office. Here’s a neat fact, by the way: some of the commuter trains divide in the middle of their trips, with the first four coaches (cars) going to one destination and the second four going to another. So you can get on the right train at the right time and still wind up in the wrong place! This must be why Britons don’t fall asleep on commuter trains as often as Americans do.

Of course, they still haven’t solved the same problem we have in the States, namely: how in the name of all that is holy am I supposed to figure out if I’m in the first four cars? It’s not like I can get out of the train and count them. My only real option is to start walking forward until I’m either in the front car, or can see the front car from where I’m standing (i.e., the second car). If they’re going to make announcements like that, why don’t they just list the car numbers. And if they’re not going to list the numbers, why did they bother numbering the cars at all?!? <soapbox>

Anyway, after work, we grabbed some fast food and headed over to a stereotypical English pub to watch a World Cup Match (Brazil def. Croatia, 1-0). Great fun (and Guiness) was had by all. I know this isn’t really news to anyone (not even me), but these folks root for soccer teams like they’re the New York Yankees. I will admit, though, soccer is a whole lot more exciting when you’re in a room with a couple hundred drunk Europeans who are really excited about it.

Two folks asked me during the game if I was from Brazil. I guess my New Yawk accent is fading… ;-)

Topics: Travel Talk | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “London, Part 2”

  1. Jeff Porten says at June 15th, 2006 at 5:30 pm :
    The Tube trains always stop in the same places, so you know which car you’re boarding by where you’re standing on the platform. Or you could do what I did and ask somebody. Language barrier shouldn’t be too much of a problem….

  2. Brian says at June 15th, 2006 at 11:36 pm :
    No, no – the tube is the subway. I’m talking about the commuter trains (the ones that go to the suburbs of London). To my knowledge, the tube trains remain a single unit for the entire ride.

    Of course, you could count cars on the commuter trains too, but that would require advanced knowledge of the split. I’m talking about tourists here, who get on a train not knowing about this neat little trick, and then wondering where they are.

    Either way, I don’t see the downside to announcing “Cars 1234, 7583, 3748, and 2058 will be going to Station A…” It’s not like these folks have that much else to do…