Commuting Hell! Sometimes you just have to laugh…
I had one of those experiences this morning, which makes you really question whether or not you are in fact the sensible mature adult, you think you are;
This story starts with an alarm clock. Picture it ringing. Loudly. Now look a little closer, its 5 am. Now although this is undoubtedly unpleasant, it isn’t that unusual, at least not for me (I had decided to stay in the mountains in St Gervais in France over the weekend and was catching the 6:30am train in order to be in my office by 9am for an important meeting). I went through the usual routine, left the house at six, and drove down to the train station. On this morning, however when I got to the train station, I quickly realised that the train was cancelled, this time due to a strike…
This wouldn’t have been a big deal except for the fact that there is an unusual amount of building work going on in and around Geneva, and most of it seems to be clogging up the roads. Right now it makes getting to work that much harder. To top this off the bus that should have gone at 6:30 had in fact left at 6:20. The only bus that was now leaving, was going to Annecy, and I had to change in order to get into Geneva.
I was informed by the driver that the best course of action was to go half way, then change buses at both Bonneville and Sallanches. From there I would take another bus to Eaux Vives station. Now at this point, I should clearly have given up and gone back to bed for an hour and taken a nice warm car that would be driving down into town by my boyfriend in two hours time.
However, I have always been one for a gamble and I really needed to be in the early meeting. I was up now. This time however, it was just one of those times where I wish I was more cautious.
Being who I am, I ended up sitting at the front of the first bus in the dark feeling angry and tearful by degree, for no other reason then the fact that it was early and dark, and my train had been cancelled.
At the first stop, people got on. A man sat next to me. He was large with skinny arms and legs, no chin and a large hooked nose. He even had a beret on. He sat down next to me and stared vacantly out of the window with his mouth hanging slightly ajar, swinging with the motion of the bus like metronome. He then proceeded to make the most bizarre breathing noises that I have ever head. He sounded like a cross between Darth Vader and Jabba the Hut’s death rattle. Breath in, rattle rattle rattle, breath out with a snorting sucking sound. Like pulling your foot out of really deep mud. This cacophony was punctuated by burps intermittently spaced out so that you never knew when the next one was about to arrive. This torment preceded for the next hour and 45 minutes.
I stood blinking in the light of the rising sun, briefly distracted from my unreasonably miserable musing by the beautiful sight of the sun rising over the mountains, catching the freshly fallen snow and staining it a unnatural shade of pink.
I stood there, shivering, until the second bus came roaring in (late due to road works), trundling along and bouncing along all of the ruts in the road that no one had been bothered to fix, and wishing that I had stayed curled up in bed; View or no view. I briefly entertained the thought of what the soft warm bed would feel like if I were still in it before becoming too depressed and deciding that it was better to go back to ways of killing the man standing besides me.
It was one of those moments in which I really wanted to make a call and tell someone, anyone, of my miseries but I knew, just knew that I would really regret it if I did. To call would be to admit that I couldn’t handle it. Was I the strong woman who had travelled the world or a snivelling brat who couldn’t get a bus without having a wine. It was decision time.
In the end I decided to repeat my age old mantra to myself over and over instead; it’ll be funny later, it’ll be funny later. Now I am fully aware that this is all very melodramatic but when you have been up since 5 am an untied shoe lace can seem like the end of the world, so I’m hoping that you won’t judge me too harshly.
Looking back at the whole fiasco, I’m glad I didn’t make a blubbery call at 6am. Now, sitting here in the warm office listening to the enthusiasm floating in through my open office window its hard to see what all of the fuss was about. What all the drama was actually for. But then again what’s life with out a little blind rage, a little melodrama… I eventually arrived at the office at 10:20 am after taking two buses and three trams, almost four hours after I first missed that first bus. My route into town is on the map above.
In retrospect, what could I have done to avoid this early morning drama? Don’t stay in the mountains and expect an easy commute into work the next morning is an obvious one. Aside from that however I would say, if you have an important meeting the next morning check the TPG website before you set out, especially with all the alterations to lines that are taking place right now. There is even a handy little app you can get on your phone. As we are approaching winter, if you are driving in, remember to take some chains and a shovel in case a sudden flurry of snow catches you by surprise. I would also say leave with plenty of time to spare. I know it seems obvious but if I had arrived with 10 minutes to spare I would have caught the bus.
If you take public transport, be prepared with a book, some music, maybe a portable TV and perhaps some headphones you can drown out your neighbours noise. Check out the Whats Hot section this week for some top gadgets that will help improve your commute!
So keep your spirits up, good luck and remember sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel really is the tram you have been waiting for.
If you have any funny commuting stories or even tips for avoiding the madness, why not share them with us at Biskotti? It might even make you see the funny side….