being a commuter

So today was day 1 of a five day train drivers strike here in Germany. This is the latest in a long period of strikes, which seems to be now a battle between 2 alpha males rather than about more pay.

Fortunately there is still a train per hour for us commuters. Unfortunately they have not retimed the buses to meet it, but I guess that would be too much to expect.

Anyway, this morning i cycled to the station and it was announced that the train would come in 4 minutes. 4 Minutes later the train could be sighted in the distance, but was barely moving. We waited and watched, for what seemed like forever, until finally the train made it to us. I kid you not. That train crawled to us, and was then 10 minutes late by that point. It was also packed with standing room only. Well there were some seats free. One was by a guy who was so wide that nobody could have got on that seat he had left by the window, so he dumped his bag on it, and ignored us all. Further up there were 2 seats free in a group of 4, but when i got closer, i could see why; somebody had vomited next to them:O

So i stood, and the train made its slow progress, picking up more passengers on the way and finally i made it to the office, rather late, but no choice really.

Coming home was not much better. Again one train per hour, and it was even more packed than the morning one by the time it got to us. Standing room only, and in the first class bit at that. There is no difference when the train is that full.

The next stop was the exhibition centre, where a whole throng of exhibition visitors and exhibitors were waiting on the platform.!

when everyone is squeezed into such a tight space at the end of the day, i can tell you that it does not all smell of roses.

We made it to the main station where even more were waiting to get on, and yet somehow everybody managed to squeeze in. At one point i managed to get a seat, so i was okay. But many just stood the whole journey, trying to find a support point to stop themselves fallling when the train lurched.

When we finally got off, i spotted a guy with a bicycle. I have no idea how he had managed to get a bike on the train. He probably was not that popular.

And so I have all that to look forward to again tomorrow.  oh joy. T_T

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