Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I miss the Thalys

No, not as in “I’ve missed my train to France.”
But as in “I miss the 1.20 hour that I can totally relax, read and look forward to a long weekend!”
It’s Wednesday evening, and every two weeks, this means packing my bags to go to Fonty the next day, right after work. Sadly not this week. There’s the huge yearly company party on Friday evening to compensate things a bit (and this luckily does NOT include looking for an African/Russian/hospital/Tarantino/….outfit :-), but still….

Since I've made the “environmental” decision to take the train instead of my car to travel to France, I took quite a likening for public transport. (ok, I admit : it was an emotional, purely self-indulging decision to spend loads of money on the Thalys, instead of driving for 0 Eur with my company car, nothing to do with any “green” motives – see posting “The horrible ride home”). But public transport made me a happier person.
Here’s how it goes.
A taxi picks me up at work around 5.00 PM. And wow….this already makes me feel like I’ve stepped right into a scene of Sex and the City! Carrie taking a cab to see her lover in Paris…We ignore red lights twice, and I consider this as self-sacrifying acts of my driver, who will do anything to get me on time in the station. The scene reaches perfection when Sinatra sings “We’ll be together again” on the car radio.
I only have to wait a few minutes for the Thalys to come rolling into the station around 17.25 PM, and there I go, at 17.40, all set for a bit of me-time. My bag hides a candy bar, a Coke, a book, and a few magazines. All I need.
The relaxing stops cruelly around 19.00 PM, because then the train almost reaches Paris. And this means : already get to the train doors, ready to jump out. Because I have exactly 10 minutes to 1)stand in line to buy a ticket, 2)race to the other end of a very big train station, 3) knock over a few stubborn Frenchmen who are still not aware of the fact that the left side of an escalator is made for people who are in a hurry, 4) reach the right platform just in time to see the RER to Melun arriving, 5) jump on it, without verifying if it’s the right one, 6) doubt if I jumped on the right one until I see the first stop, which convinces me I’m traveling in the right direction.
After this horrible race against the clock, I can happily relax again for 45 minutes. I spend this time reading (again), and feeling proud of myself for traveling independently through Paris and its’ “banlieux”. Big City Girl on the move!
Around 20.10 PM the train rolls into Melun station, where P stands waiting for me. And in a second I go from “independent big city girl” to “please take me into your arms, onto your horse, and drive me to your castle” :-)

So public transport has won me over.
Good thing.
Because as from January, I won’t even have a car anymore, ha!

1 comment:


good, very funnily descriptive.

ridwan, indonesia