Trains and Ould Fellas

I have asked my cousin to do a guest post. This is my first guest post ever, because I was lazy and because my cousin amuses me greatly with her writings on Facebook.

So here we go. Enjoy. And forgive me for my laziness.

I come from the Country but I live in the City. After greatly celebrating the festivities of our Sacred Lord and his wonderful chocolate eggs, I realized that I would have to return to the City. Being the prudent girl that I am, I took advantage of the Irish rail systems newly established online booking system and booked myself a nice expensive seat in one of the cushier cabins.

Lately I’ve been feeling rather impressed with Iarnród Éireann (said railway) due to their spacious cabins, cushy seats and of course the marvelous dining cart service that harbours an interesting if slightly expensive range of sweeties ranging from Pringles to Lilly O’ Brien’s indulgent chocolates.


If there’s one thing you can’t change on train journeys, it’s the people. The people who don’t really know how the system works, or how to use it to their advantage to promote more comfort for themselves and others. 

You know the ones. The ones who perilously flee in any given direction when bus speakers announce, ‘Please step back, luggage doors operating.’ 

They’re the ones who stare at you with wild eyes and froth at the mouth while asking, ‘Are you local?’

They’re generally in the age bracket of forty to seventy and while I can’t paint them all with the same brush, they generally also don’t know how to collect their tickets at the automated ticket collection machine. 

It was one of those who caused me to become not only short in stature, but also short in temper today. As I was trying to make my way to my pre-booked seat, one seatless and grumpy woman roared at me that there were no unbooked seats in that direction, and that we should all just give up and get off the train now.

Upon my arrival at my pre-booked seat I found a fifty something country male with a broken arm smiling up at me. Well, I can’t tell you the shame I needlessly felt as I had to turf some ancient pathetic cripple out of my cushy throne. Man, all eyes were upon me. I could only guess at what the other passengers were thinking. Me in my prime, healthy goodness oozing out of my ears, energy buzzing off my kneecaps. Sure look at me! Fit to dance ten jigs, run the London marathon and save the orphan babies of Calcutta! And here I was, abusing my power to cast an injured elder into the great seatless beyond. 

And you can bet I did; I pulled my ticket on that man. And I’ll do it again. I may be short, but by God, I can navigate a computer interface with ease.

/ paddy (although not really)

14 thoughts on “Trains and Ould Fellas

  1. Those people are terrible! The ones that flash the ticket I mean. At least for us poor people that cant afford friggin 70 kronor extra for a friggin pre booked seat. But I totally understand it, because it’s the LEAST enjoyable situation to be shoved from your seat mid-travel, and with a pre-booked ticket, you don’t need to do that. And it’s awesome. When I’m rich enough to have pre-booked seats, I WILL! *points at everyone in the room*

    • I’m telling you, once you’ve done it once, you’ll be looking for excuses : D

  2. Welcome to Paddyhome, Cousin of Paddy. What a charming little paradise you describe. :-)

    You just wait till you have tried the Stockholm subway at peak time. The train stops, you stand there waiting to leave your compartment, and the doors open. Outside is a big bunch of people, just standing there in front of you, looking at you. There is no place for you to leave the train. They still stand there, rooted to the platform. You realize that you have to knock them down to make place enough to get off the train. They are still standing there, like /S/w/e/d/e/s/ idiots. Then the driver shuts the doors and the train leaves the station. You go to the next station, and the guys on the platform stay on the platform, waiting for the next train.

    It would have been fun in a Monty Python sketch, but in the Stockholm Subway? This is one of the few times when I am ashamed to be a swede…


    • I must admit I take a certain kind of warped pleasure elbowing my way out of subway trains when that happens. Seriously. I PUSH people. It’s the only time you actually get to push strangers without anyone retaliating. It’s brilliant.

    • Just walk twenty metres to a different part of the train, generally the middle is easier. And eat lots of garlic for breakfast.

  3. I am flabbergasted!

    I have to completely disagree with Rolf and Melliferax, but on the other hand… I am comparing to Athens!

    I always find that people in the Stockholm underground 1) give wide berth, so to speak, by standing well away and to the sides of opening doors on the underground and 2) never enter the car before those getting off have gotten off.

    Now, I would seriously advise Rolf, Melliferax and anyone else finding the Swedes nasty in this respect to pay us Greeks a visit. More specifically, try the Athens underground. Now, it is an ultra-modern marvel, paid for by the EU in time for the 2004 Olympics, and many of the larger stations are real classy, nearly like in the Moscow underground (featuring various pillars and statues and other parts of ancient buildings unearthed when they were digging the tunnels), and the trains always run on time, but…

    …when a train stops at a platform and you are trying to get off, you are somewhat hampered by the *wall of people* not standing there, but *pushing their way into* the car before anyone has gotten off. And this is quite literally true. To such an extent, in fact, that the authorities have seen fit to – in the very few stations where this is possible due to platforms on both sides of the train, like in Omónia – open first the doors on one side to let people off, then the doors on the other side to let people on.

    Really, the citizens of Stockholm are a great lot in this case! They learnt some fifty years ago how to behave on the underground!

    Here in Athens, it would probably take a heavily armed army force to part the magnificent wall of people forcing its way in when the train stops and the doors open…

    Drive a hard,

    • Actually I agree, I have never really noticed the problem in Stockholm, people here usually move back as much as they can (ignoring the odd rude old man/lady). The biggest problem I think are people with huge prams and buggies who go around in groups and block the exits.

    • You can’t exactly disagree with me on this, as I never claimed it’s always the case. I just said that WHEN it happens (because it does on occasion happen, although it may not be terribly frequently), I bring out the elbows.

      And my elbows are truly fearsome weapons, I’ll have you know.

  4. Melliferax :
    You can’t exactly disagree with me on this, as I never claimed it’s always the case. I just said that WHEN it happens (because it does on occasion happen, although it may not be terribly frequently), I bring out the elbows.
    And my elbows are truly fearsome weapons, I’ll have you know.

    Melliferax, with those fearsome elbows… you wouldn’t like to come here as a mercenary cleaning up the Athens underground, now would you?

    I can see the headlines now…



    “Police yesterday tried to stop a truly fearsome woman on what appeared to be a killing rampage, but were in no uncertain terms ordered away by prime minister Papandréou, who – it turned out – has hired the mercenery woman to clean up the Athens underground.”

    Ah well, and so forth.

    Now, what do you say?


    Drive a hard,

  5. Im just shocked that 50 year olds are regarded as ancient.
    So Im ancient in another 11 years eh?

  6. Bellis :
    Melliferax, with those fearsome elbows[snip]
    “Police yesterday tried to stop a truly fearsome woman on what appeared to be a killing rampage,[snip]

    Elbows have honour!
    – Klingon Mercenary Council

    Woof! (I mean cheers!)

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