Tag Archives: trains

CHOO CHOO!

Have I complained about train prices before? I forget if I’ve brought them up repeatedly over the last nearly-1000 blogs I’ve written in (almost) consecutive days. Have I? Hmm. Let’s see.

Would I want to write about something that is unnecessarily expensive? I’m not sure. Would I want to write about how even though it’s priced at more than a fucking plane ride – a flight in a metal tube at hundreds of miles an hour in the sky – the quality of service is often lacking? I really don’t know.

Would I want to write about the fact that I have never, ever bought a train ticket – excluding advance fares (that are cheap increasingly rarely) – that I have then thought ‘oh, that’s good value actually’? I really cannot come up with an answer.

Would I have the inclination to write something about how train fares rise at a rate far beyond that of inflation and are some of the priciest in the whole of Europe, thanks to a reliance on a totally non-competitive privatised system that is, for all intents and purposes, a territorially monopolised system? I’m drawing blanks here.

Even though I don’t buy them, would I want to highlight that season ticket prices could rise by £1,000 over the next five-or-so years? I have to give a shrug of the shoulders to answer.

Would I be the type of person to highlight in their blog that it seems that train companies run borderline racketeering ‘services’ for those who require the ability to travel around the country, away from roads and that this system would be far less likely to exist if we had a state-run public transport system like we fucking should have? I… hmm.

I think I’ve just come up with the answer to all of these questions: no.

Because instead I’ll write about funny dogs or something.

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Coaches: you’re not as bad as trains

I have complained in the past of trains. Of their penchant for being shit, considering what you pay to use them. Of their lack of comfort, considering what you pay to use them. Of how long it takes them to get anywhere, considering what you pay to use them (and how they operate on tracks that aren’t roads).

But I have never complained of the pain that is using coach services. After yesterday, where I spent nearly ten hours confined to a tiny seat in a piss-stinking coach with no air conditioning, I will still not complain.

Because it cost me a matter of £some to get from Liverpool to home. And the fact I paid a fraction of what I would have done for the plane or train means I am able to accept the fact that coaches aren’t exactly bathed in luxury.

In fact, it wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t have felt like I was on the verge of dying (mystery illness: GO!) and if the fat German twat sat in front of me hadn’t kept on jabbing his seat back into my knees.

(Clue: I am quite large. I don’t fit very well in coaches. “Snug” is an apt word, though it is too kind a word as it conjures up thoughts of the one thing I didn’t have – comfort. And the seat he was on didn’t actually recline – he was just pushing it back so he could sit in some weird, reclined way and laugh at shitty photos on his girlfriend’s iPhone. Fucking Apple fans. All cunts. Wait, what?)

But it was many hours sat in two confined spaces (two coaches, see), feeling nothing but uncomfortable and wondering just when the misery would be over.

But it was £14 from Liverpool to London. £12 from London to Bournemouth. And it was on roads. And it wasn’t £120. And it didn’t have the arrogance that comes with the trains where they assume they’re offering you something better than they are even though I have never, ever been on a train service in the UK where I’ve thought ‘oh, this is worth the money – I love trains!’.

I hate trains. Coaches may be shit, but they’re actually meant to be. What have you ever done, trains? Eh? EH? Piss off, trains.

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Festive season? TIME TO STAY HERE

As it is November, discussions have naturally moved on to the Christmas break and what the hell everyone is doing over it. I, for one, have no idea. Naturally going home will be top of the list this time around, mainly because I have nothing else to do, but staying here on my own comes a close second.

Because dear shitting crikey is it cheaper and less hassle. I can:

Get a train
£100+ and about six hours of rickety, shitty carriages that I haven’t complained about nearly enough in the last few months. So I’ll do a complain now: they’re shit and I hate them.

Get a coach
Brings the cost down to £60, but also requires I both sit on two coaches for a combined eight hours and that I end up in Rotherham. I genuinely do not remember how to navigate from Rotherham to Swinton. I will end up dead on a local bus somewhere, surrounded by youths.

Get a plane
Stupid times, end up in Leeds, works out about the same as a train, bad for the environment, fear of death almost as overwhelming as when you’re in Rotherham – it just doesn’t add up.

Stay here
Get some relaxation time without having to travel anywhere. Sit, sleep, finally finish the pile of games that need finishing. Well, some of them. I can cook myself Super Noodles (with ham as a special treat) for Christmas dinner… in fact, this is clearly the perfect option.

Go to Zurich and roam the streets
Oh wait – I’m not a psycho. Repeat it with me – I am not a psycho. I am not a psycho. I am not a psycho…

I’m clearly going to opt for the ‘hang out, play Nintendo’ option, aren’t I? Ah well, Christmas is bum anyway. I’m sure la familia can manage – somehow, some way – without my rapist wit.

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Murdering boredom, one gadget at a time

Strange that I’ve decided to write this now, seeing as my travelling will be cut down severely from what it was only recently. Still, an idea of what to write here is exactly that, and if I think I can make it mildly amusing for myself then that’s fine – it takes up a day of the blog, which is definitely the right attitude to have about this whole thing. Right, onto business.

I travel a bit (see above for caveats) – as such I need to have with me things that can make boredom disappear. To be fair, that’s all we ever do throughout our entire lives. Try and argue with that point and you’ll fail – everything anybody ever does is in order to avoid being bored. Hence why games are brilliant and if you dismiss them you’re a fucking dickhead. Ahem. Where was I? Ah yes – travelling is a special case for boredom-killing though, as you tend to be cooped up with no way of just going for a walk or wandering listlessly around your flat, brushing your new haircut into amusingly shit styles (that you know you’ll probably stick with in coming weeks, as your hair is always shit and you hate it anyway). You’re sitting, with no escape. You need to mind-escape. You need shit.

I have an ever-increasing pile of crap I can throw into my bag and pull out at any point to make boredom go bye-bye. Let’s just list them, rather than babble on incoherently here:

PSP
I love my PSP, still, even though everybody in the world hates them. It hurts my hands to play it for a long time, but it has some great games and the ability to play any PSone game I want on it. With some creative modifications of legal firmware, naturally. It used to be the main port of call, until I got…

Tiny Laptop
Possibly the best thing I’ve ever bought. It’s 10.1 inches of sheer pleasure HAHAHA COCK JOKE LOL LOL LOL LMFAO LOLOLOLOLOLsigh. But yeah, it can play old PC games and movies, and I can work on it too should I need to. Plus it does an internet where it’s available (i.e. not many places). £160 and the Best Thing Ever? Yeah, I’ll take that.

DS
Doesn’t get touched as much as it used to. In fact, last time I played it on a train I put on Cooking Mama for ten minutes before I realised I was being judged by everyone around me for playing a game where you chop onions as fast as you can. Naturally, this meant I just played it more. Louder. Harder. With shouting involved. Then called them all cunts and ran off laughing like a maniac*. *May not have happened.

iPad
The new addition to the family and untested on the road, this little Apple thing could well turn out to be brilliant. I’ve already downloaded War & Peace on it, so I can pretend to read it and look like a really smug twat. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s an app where you can pretend to read Dostoyevsky and actually have a Dan Brown book hidden inside it. Not that I’d ever read Dan Brown, but for the purposes of the joke let’s pretend I would. Then let’s all collectively vomit at that thought. Umm.. yeah. Canabalt.

Books
Depending what it is and depending the mood I’m in, books can be brilliant or a complete waste of time. A seven-hour flight with genuine flu isn’t conductive to me being able to read Blood Meridian, for example. Whereas I managed Breakfast Of Champions in one train ride from Manchester to Sheffield. But then, I do fucking love Vonnegut more than anything else.

iPod

I still remember the days of taking my CD player on the train, cramming it in my inside coat pocket as it seemed to fit there, the auto skip-correction system eventually wearing down and the music becoming unlistenable as the bumpy ride took its toll. Also I listened to more shit then. Not to say my tastes have got better, just that I listen to less music now. Anyway, the iPod is a nice distraction as it’s not an active pursuit – you can just switch it on and leave it. And turn it up loud to annoy the fat smelly person next to you who keeps rubbernecking at your screen. Cocks.

Wow, that was a lot more boring than I expected. Sorry, I seem incapable of being funny about shit like this. I do seem capable of almost writing 800 words on the subject though. Jesus crikey I must be bored. Soz. 7/10

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I do find strange things “thrilling”

Much as I whine about travelling on trains – no, don’t worry, I do, I’m not just exaggerating for hilarious effect – I do still find some elements of their involvement with my life quite nice. For every twat there is in a carriage, there’s… well, there’s another twat if we’re honest here. But then for every goit looking over your shoulder, there’s at least another goit looking over who appreciates what you’re watching (dude watching me watch Penn & Teller yesterday: well done for laughing at the sight gag).

For every massive delay, there’s a funny cow mooing at the train (okay, that only happened once). For every time you have to change somewhere like Rugby, there’s the chance to go for a refreshing station-poo. For every rail replacement bus there’s… the fact I don’t have cancer? That’s the best I can think of there.

But the best aspect of travelling by train a lot has to be the ticket hunting. If you’ve ever put some real effort into getting tickets as cheap as possible then you know what I’m on about, mainly because that’s exactly what I’m on about. There’s a real primal winning sensation when you manage to find a ticket – no matter how stupid a journey it is – for a low, low price.

They’re becoming all the more rare these days though, what with prices inflating massively because train people are greedy cunts, or something. But that just makes it all the better when I do find the ticket that’s actually Worth The Effort – changing at Rugby, for example. But I honestly doubt I’ll ever manage to find a Bournemouth to Manchester ticket for £12 ever again. That will be my crowning achievement – the one time the thrill of the hunt was on a par with the actual outcome.

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LITERALLY the worst thing in the world

There are great deal of things to get pished off about – things like how today I had a reserved seat on the train, but for some reason a woman had the exact same reservation as me. As a result of being polite, I ended up sat in another seat. As a result of the electronic reservation system above the seats being broken, I didn’t know the seat I was in was reserved for someone else. This meant at Birmingham I had to shift again and stand up for ages, as the train was full. That’s one of the worst things that’s ever happened in the world, obviously.

But there are worse things, like AIDS epidemics, starvation, the rich getting richer and the poor continuing to get shat on – things like that. But all of that – even the train stuff – pales in comparison to one thing. One thing that makes me want to die. One thing that makes me wish the world would just detonate right now. A thing so bad it makes me shudder, want to cry and evacuate my bowels all at the exact same moment – all while I’m being shown on live kids TV.

Seriously – the Match Of The Day intro really is that bad.

It’s one of those things that about three people – all with no understanding of how shite the finished product would clearly look – thought would be a good idea. They wrote down the idea with the most glee a person is capable of, probably claiming “it’ll blow the audience’s minds!” or that it would be “the future of televisual football coverage introductions!”

All of the people involved with the creation of this intro need to know they have done more damage to the world than the Pope’s anti-condom stance. To be fair, those who actually did the digital editing stuff could only do so much, but they’re still on board with the whole thing, and as such I hate them.

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Train tickets are incredible value for money!!!!!

I’ve mentioned it before – in fact, I’ve talked about trains a few times before – but I couldn’t find any full on blog about my hatred of train ticket prices. Hence, that’s what you’re getting today. Woo, yeah, etc. You never know, I might be able to work up enough ranty-steam to be able to write something reasonably entertaining today. I won’t, but the hope is there.

I use trains a fair bit – more than I ever have, but less so in recent weeks/months. Why am I using them less? I still live 3.2 billion miles away from my girlfriend, so I should still have to go up to Manchester to see her on a regular basis, right? Well, yes. But a couple of things have changed this recently: one, she came down here a couple of times for ages, and two, I really can’t afford stupid expensive sodding train tickets. I think I’ll concentrate on the latter reason here, lest we fall into a trap of going “I’VE GOT A GIRLFRIEND” for the next couple of hundred words, thus pushing her ever closer towards dumping my ass.

Let’s just put it this way: I get a bus pass each month* which costs me £52. This isn’t cheap. Still, it gives me a month of unlimited travel on the Yellow buses through Bournemouth – hence, it is useful. A train to Manchester and back from Bournemouth costs £98.70 (ninety-eight pounds seventy pence). Two trips, totalling 9-10 hours, costs a fraction of my wage I don’t even dare work out, lest it scare the shit out of me. When Bournemouth Airport’s second terminal/outhouse opens (unless it’s already opened) I will be able to get flights to and from Manchester for around the same price, if not cheaper. Flights on planes. Not a shitty train, taking five hours and invariably caused undue stress by engineering works or a leaf on the track: a metal tube that glides through the air to Manchester in less than an hour. For roughly the same price. I fail to see why these two options should cost the same, I really do.

So thanks trains. Thanks for being so utterly maddening you’re one of – if not the – most talked about subjects on this blog. Thanks a fucking lot.

*Though as soon as my new shoes arrive that’ll be a thing of the past. Coalition-style cost-cutting measures are GO!

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