Journey out

Sun 09 Jul 1995
Paul Bilton

On arrival at Bad Aussee, Anthony bet me a beer that my journey was worse than his. I lost but see what you think of my 48 hrs of dicing with authority.

(1) My first train was the 14:55 to London. It was direct, cleaner, quieter + simpler than the 14:38 so I carefully watched the 14:38 pull out. Got on the 14:55. Shortly after Doncaster it was ticket time.

'Tickets please' I hold up my pass.
'Oh dear' says Conductor. I look blank.
'Oh dear, oh dear' says conductor.
'What ? You're going to tell me this is restricted', says me
'This train is restricted'. Head falls, heart sinks, no money on me for a fine.
'You know what I'm _supposed_ to do ?' says Conductor.
'What ?'
'Take your pass. Report you and you + your family will lose all travel benefits for 12 months' said the conductor with a degree of glee which gradually increased as he noticed my student i.d. whilst flicking through my wallet.

This was no ordinary fine.

Luckily the conductor was scottish + believed in self-gratification.

He let me off all forms of fine. Who knows why ? My nine lives decreased by one.

(2) The boat. London in rush hour was no hassle after this. Boat train saw time pass.

Being a tight-arsed git I'd not bothered to book either reclining seats or a cabin for this night journey. A move I reccommend nobody else takes. Quick change of pen before continuing.

After much arsing about, eating, drinking, eyeing up some Irish Girl Guides. I decided it was time for sleep. Find chair but failed miserably to find noddy. Leave seat (+ kick anthony hard) but mark it with book + sweater. Go in search of beer to act as night cap. Return fully beered to find my seat taken with book etc. laid on floor. So it was sleeping on the floor for me that nihgt = no sleep.

At around 5 am some Burnley piss head comes along. Sees the guy sleeping in the middle of the floor just down from me. Starts to tell me loudly how 'F***... unnatural' such an action is.

(3) Amsterdam

Amsterdam is great ! Everybody either asks you for money or tries to sell you drugs. City of porn details of which I'll leave to your imagination !

Anyway, I arrive somewhat exhausted and walk around for 6 hours whilst failing to find either a park or reasonable bench to lie down on/in. Obviously the Dutch believe in neither of these.

So its the station. Find an alcove + lie down. Suddenly wake up with some random dutch being shouted at me by an Amsterdam policeman. Obviously sleeping is not allowed in Amsterdam. So I lean up against the wall. Bolt upright with a deadly engrossing book. 'Wake up' shouts same policeman in English. Right. I move away a bit. Connect a caffeine filter to my nose + hope. 'Night in jail ?' shouts same policeman. After considering this, thinking that I'd certainly win a beer with this tale, I decided that a night in jail ain't so good. Proceed to McDonalds where I spend many guilders before catching train.

(4) The Night train

Fairly nice time apart from random German youth who wanted to play footsie all night.

(5) Train from Salzburg to Attnang P****

It was a kind German conductor who'd clipped my Austria ticket. This, no doubt, took some explaining to the Austrian conductor.

Arrive in Bad Aussee much later (ie. 15 mins) than expected. But got bored so couldn't be arsed to tell you about this bit. . . . !

We should point out at this juncture that Paul lost a beer to Anthony over this journey, on account of it being less ep*c than ours. So there.

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