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I'll Be Sure to Go By Train

2005-07-29 01:52:51    |    Back    |    Blog

I don't know why I love going by train. Norway is a developing country when it comes to railway communications. The time table is based on the “we'll be there whenever” principle, almost like going by public transport in Central Africa, the tracks are so old that high speed trains are out of the question and when walking through the cars of the train you feel like you're in a boat that's just hit a rough spot of weather. In Germany I could write handwritten letters and post cards while on the train as there was no shaking and my hand was steady. When I take the train in Norway, my offspring can't even play with his coloring book because of all the humping around that's going on. And have you tried walking in the cafeteria car with open beverage in both your hands while desperately trying not to bump in to all the other dining guests? Impossible.

Then it's the comfort. Unless you're so rich that going by train is something you consider to be beneath a person with your stature, you won't be able to afford the finer sleeping accommodations. It's unbelievably little room to maneuver inside the compartments, and the toilet facilities are just as smelly and dirty like most public rest rooms in Norway are. I only laughed when I saw the shower compartment. Who the hell would risk their lives by combining the impossibility of standing straight and steady with soap between your toes?

When you add all this together with the fact that NSB's online booking never works (this time our seats from Åndalsnes to Dombås were triple booked, the seats from Dombås to Trondheim were double booked and when checking in at Trondheim I was told that Håkon and I were placed in different compartments, even if I had booked a family compartment) it really amazes me that I love taking the train. But I do.

I've always loved trains and I've always loved riding them. To sit idle and just watch the world rush by, seeing the different locos and cars at the stations, looking at beautiful old station buildings where you only stop for a few minutes, get ideas for new creations, designs and technical solutions for your Lego train setup which I can't wait to get up and running again in my new apartment, read a book, let the rhythm of the tracks lull you to sleep, seeing your son taking in his very first train trip… It was the perfect way to start the vacation.

And in the mortal words of Richard Palmer-James and Michael Cretu:

If I ever get to heaven
I'll be sure to go by train
If I make it home at seven
I'll never drive again
In heavy traffic

Have a nice summer!



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