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.

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I recognise that view! Sorry to hear of your horrible morning. I hope Paris cured your ills and soothed the soul?

I don’t mean to rub salt in your wounds but if you return, many of the stores will take euros (just expect a horrible exchange rate whilst they pull faces for the inconvenience and to give you your change in CHF)


Hate to say this, but welcome to Switzerland…over here in the German-speaking region, it’s just as cold. I come from a so-called ‘third world’ country, yet experience more class, grace and good manners when I’m home than I do most days here in the first world. Hopefully Paris was friendlier! (if that’s possible?)


People are unbelievable – I will never understand people who can stand & watch someone in difficulty or distress & not do anything – selfish bastards! Well done you for telling them off & in french too! Hope you had a good lunch in Paris with lots of alcohol to dull the pain.


That sounds so suck, LLG. But there are some quality lines in there. Among my favorite: “After all, my dignity was still sprawling across the floor, so I had nothing to lose.” Validation why I love this blog. Train travel sounds so glamorous in my head, but the reality is usually exactly what is written here.


Darling Sasha, it sounds to me, aside from requiring a personal assistant you need a well trained partner to sweep you off your feet, bundle you into an appropriate limo that has laptop power and wifi and knows when to be quiet but also the best restaurants enroute…
I feel for you – keep the head up, the hair back and sunglasses on!
C xx


I think you have a Galaxy s2? I carry 4 spare charged batteries for mine. Work of a moment to switch – though takes a little too long to ‘come back’.


Well done, for giving them all a piece of your mind. Must have been so annoying – it could have been any of them & yet they treat you like that! Sometimes people really do need to be told how to behave!


Ugh poor you that’s awful! And your journey sounded like it’s was going to be so glamorous. All I could have done is shout Merde! at them. A lot.

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