What not to do on train journeys; this, for once, is not about something stupid I did (although there will be plenty of that later, don’t you worry).
I am actually really good on train journeys- it’s my one shining talent. I never book busy trains, I’m always early, I don’t bring stinky food, I always have sweets and a movie that I watch with earphones in; I am just a really good train-user (probably because there’s not much to it and it’s quite a selfish talent).
But recently I experienced a train journey that took about 5 years off my life, and provided me with a surprisingly eclectic and lengthy list of what not to do on trains- but first, context.
I had just finished my exam and I began my journey via train from Newcastle to home for a week of rest before next week’s big summer blowout (sneaky Frozen reference there). And for some reason it all went wrong when the train stopped at Carlisle.
For those that don’t know, Carlisle is usually the point where the lovely Geordies with their Greggs and their bottles of diet coke (Newcastle is the home of Greggs, which the Geordies are rightly proud of) get off, and then the Scots get on, with their 6 packs of Carlsberg and their very very loud yelling (this might be a bit unfair as it was nearing 7 on a saturday night so I think no matter where I’d have been everyone would’ve been gearing up for a night out).
Either way, up until this point I’d been enjoying my gummy worms and my new book, and I don’t know if it was how tired I was or if it was the charms of a train-load of Scots, who all seemed to know each other, getting drunk in an enclosed space, but I had a very clear thought: I’m home.
But that thought aside, this is where it began to go wrong, and this is where my list starts.
1: Do not go into a toilet that clearly does not have any water supply, and is already mildly blocked and proceed to do a massive shit that won’t sit below the water, and therefore stink out an entire train-carriage and make sure that everyone for the rest of the hour-long journey can’t use the toilet.
I mean I know that when you have to go you have to go, but on a train carriage that stank of shit, with a bunch of drunk Scots who were ready to break the seal, that logic seemed unimportant.
2: If you are a teenage girl and part of a group, I understand that you are sitting near the toilet, and you feel you have a public duty, but don’t feel the need to inform everyone (very very loudly) who tries to use the toilet of the situation, no matter how funny it is.
3: Seriously, I might have burst an eardrum, and I can already smell it I don’t need to hear about it.
4: And this might be the most important, if you bring a 12-pack of beer onto a train, and there is a 21-year old girl behind you, who looks tired and might have just finished her exams, you offer her one.
Help a bitch out.
And this is my step-by-step guide on how to be good train goer, although how anyone else could end up in this scenario I have no idea, but if you somehow end up in this situation, god speed my child, and you can always do what I do; write a blog about it.