Wednesday, 2 November 2011
A journey in the quiet carriage
We went London today, booking seats in the quiet carriage, so that we could read our books. Fair enough?
But why do they penalise us by ALWAYS putting the quiet carriage at the back, so we have to walk miles to reach it, and also have to trawl through about seven (noisy) carriages to buy a cup of coffee? It's as though we're being punished for not wanting to listen to people telling us, loudly, that they're "on the train, and will Malcolm remember to buy the rabbit for the stew/polish his boots/get Andrea to send that unrgent email"? I think, instead, there should be a noisy carriage - several if necessry - at the back of the train, well away from the rest of us.
But when a mobile phone went off in the quiet carriage this morning, there was a general bristling and tutting. And when a second one rang, and was anwered at length, a lynch-party descended upon it. There was much huffing and puffing and flying of feathers, and a timid little voice was heard to whimper that she "hadn't been on a train for ages". That excuse cut no ice with the lynchers ("pshaw!"), and the timid little voice seemed to vanish. I felt quite sorry for her. Well, almost.
Posted by Frances Garrood at 18:20
Labels: quite carriage, train journeys
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My train trips are frequent and (relatively) long distant, mostly for work, but I have never booked a seat in the quiet carriage. So far, I have survived quite well; if things get too noisy, sooner or later others (members of the Lynch Party?) are going to intervene so it is mostly not necessary for me to make myself unpopular with the offender(s).ReplyDelete
I get my book out and make use of the hours spent on the train to read, and I will do so again tomorrow morning and evening - actually looking forward to it!
Ah, but you live in Germany Librarian, where I suspect the passengers are better behaved!ReplyDelete
Nicely done, Frances. I laughed at this, so far from a Canadian train experience as to be from another planet. Passenger train service in my part of the country went the way of the dodo ages ago, except for the expensive Rockies experience that runs only in the summer.ReplyDelete
But I love trains, and am happy to know that quiet carriages exist. This strikes me as so very British.
It says something about our society when we have to take special measures just to get something we used to take for grantedReplyDelete
i.e. A bit of peace and quiet.
Quite agree about having noisy carriages but I bet they only need one quiet carriage in comparison to the noisy ones. Dream it and do it says it all!ReplyDelete
Just because I have this habit of defending anyone being criticised in their absence, the train people could have put it at the end to avoid subjecting you to constant through-traffic (by people who are possibly mid-conversation)? Just a thought! I wrote this poem about silence being endangered and compartmentalised, so I do sympathise.ReplyDelete
I never go n the quiet carraiges - because there will always be people using phones in them and I get so annoyed I can't concentrate on what I want to do. In the non quiet carraiges phone use doesn't bother me nearly as much and I'm able to read or write.ReplyDelete