I’m sitting on the TGV from Lausanne to Paris. I can’t say it’s been a golden journey so far. With the torture of three dead electronic devices fresh in my memory from the 4.5hr journey on Friday, I tried to upgrade my ticket at Lausanne station so I could plug in my laptop during the journey.
Pas possible, c’est SNCF, the ticket desk grunted at me. Okay. I wheeled around and promptly fell over an overnight bag some moron had abandoned immediately behind me.
I’m afraid to say I had a colossal sense of humour failure when not one of the twenty or so people staring at me like a collective village idiot helped me get up, stop the contents of my handbag rolling towards oblivion or apologise for leaving the sodding bag abandoned in the middle of the ticket hall.
I shouted very VERY loudly in my best French that they should all be ashamed of themselves for not helping a traveller in extremis, for representing La Suisse in such a manner and that finally I’d like them all to consider how they would feel if no one helped them in a similar situation. (It’s astonishing how fluent my French is when I really get the bit between my teeth.) Childish, I know, but extremely satisfying. After all, my dignity was still sprawling across the floor, so I had nothing to lose.
I hobbled off, trying not to cry – I had walloped my knee hard on the tiled floor – to buy a restorative pain au chocolate for my breakfast. Only to discover of course that I had no Swiss Francs. (Buckets of Euros instead). Breakfast-less, I limped away to find my train.
Until Dijon I had a large, hairy man sleeping at a 45 degree sideways tilt over me, hogging both the armrest and my personal airspace, and from Dijon to Paris it appears that I shall be accompanied by a woman reading Eat, Pray, Love, who smells suspiciously like patchouli, whose jewellery tinkles every time she reads a page and who is sucking throat lozenges very loudly.
I have so earned that lunch that is waiting for me in Paris.