Jazz on the Train

I was on my way to work. It was a typical March morning in Stockholm, which meant the weather could be snow, or blazing sun, or icy gales, or all three at once.

On trains, I am peculiar, especially in the mornings. Things annoy me and they annoy me five times more than normal. These things include (but are not limited to):

People eating their messy breakfast on the train
People having loud conversations on the train
People shoving their massive luggage into other people’s way
People putting on makeup on the train
People with awfully leaky headphones

Of these, the headphone leakers are the worse. Yes, I’m sure your music is fun to listen to, but if you insist upon playing it so fucking LOUDLY then use good headphones and not those pieces of cheap shit they gave you when you bought your mobile telephone.

16073492-Businessman-listening-to-headphones-on-a-train-Stock-Photo

But no. People will play the most appallingly annoying music at full tinny volume, in total disregard for those around them (meaning, of course, me).

So on this particular March day, I was noodling about on my phone, reading news, playing a game, the usual sort of thing, when a man got on the train and sat close to me, wearing headphones. And the air suddenly filled with jazz.

Not good jazz either. Shite jazz, with the same piece repeated over and over. I did my usual scowling but the man didn’t notice or care. Then I wasn’t sure it was him, so I scowled at some other likely leakers in my vicinity, and shook my head, and muttered to myself.

dogThe music kept on going, becoming more and more annoying. So finally, I moved. At which point I noticed that the music, oddly, was now coming from ahead of me, and not from behind.

And it clicked.The music was coming from my own mobile, from a game I had been playing. Luckily I was spared any embarrassment as pretty much everyone around me had headphones on and couldn’t hear a damn thing. The sweet and awful irony.

Note that I didn’t mention dogs on the train being a thing I dislike. I’m trying quite hard to like dogs and so far it seems to be working.

Until someone invents leaky dog headphones and I am forced to go postal.

/ paddy

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Silence in the Silent Section

I was on a train over the weekend. I do like trains. As long as they aren’t the shitty modern double-decker ones without a proper bistro. But that’s another rant.

I had a seat in the silent section. Many Swedish trains have a silent section. I applaud this, as I really don’t like listening to details from other people’s tedious private lives. I’m kind of weird that way.

So I sat myself in the silent section. A lady sat across from me and started to talk on her mobile. Loudly. We hadn’t yet left the station so I figured, okay, whatever. The train soon did leave the station though and she continued to talk. I gave her 10 minutes and before that time was up, she had put the phone away. Phew, I thought, as I turned to my laptop to do some writing.

The guy behind me farted. Okay, I thought, it’s not noise, relax. I continued to try to write as the smell of arse drifted around me. Then the lady made another call. A longer one. 15 minutes of drivel. I dug my fingers into my palms to control myself. And then, thankfully, she shut up. I settled down to write, whereupon I heard a very loud male voice from two seats behind.

“So I wanted to check about the tickets, and the-” he blared, as if to a very deaf relative. I gave him two minutes and then I stomped back to him. “You do know this is the silent section?” I said, all red faced and foreign looking. “Isn’t that over there?” he said timidly, pointing to a tiny compartment with 4 seats behind a glass partition.  “No it isn’t,” I growled. He mumbled in the phone and hung up and I headed triumphantly back to my seat.

The thing is. Here’s the thing, right. The thing is, it says “Silent Section” on the tickets. It also says “Silent Section” on the wall and door as you enter and leave the silent section. And someone actually makes an announcement before the train pulls out to say exactly where the silent section is. And this guy pretended not to know about it. Which makes him either supremely thick, or just a rude bastard.

He didn’t say anything else for the duration. However, mobile lady decided to listen to very loud music through her crappy ear buds for the rest of the trip. And, for the sake of not having a heart attack, I let her and grumbled into my beard (I don’t have a beard) instead.

Well, as I like to say, people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but they sure are funny when you push them down the stairs.

/paddy

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.

However.

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)