torsdag, januar 26, 2006

The train station of the supernatural

I have just survived an amazing happening. Oh, everything is normal now, but just an hour or so ago, the world around me vanished and I was transported seamlessly into a parallel universe. No really.

I was at a rather large, busy commuter train station out in the burbs of Copenhagen (Høje Taastrup, for what it's worth) ready to go from work into the city to do more work. The station seemed totally normal. The platforms were there, with their little tv screens telling where the next train would be going, and when it would be going there. The ticket machines, the station convenience store, my fellow travellers. All was as it should be. Except. Except...in this parallel universe there were no trains. At all. In any direction. All the tracks (and there were several) were spookily empty. For at least 15 minutes. Where did they go?! And then, finally, a train arrived, and I realized that I must have been transported back to the universe that I usually inhabit.

There are those in Denmark who will blame this twist in the train station space-time continuum on the snow. But I don't believe that. As I see it, when all the trains are late (as they seemed to be, judging by the information given on the little tv screens), the wait for a train should be the same as normal...instead of waiting to catch your train which is late, you catch the next earlier train which wasn't there earlier because all the trains are running late. Simple logic really.

I know, wishful thinking. I grew up in Northern California, where we didn't have snow, but where, when it rained, everyone would simply forget how to drive, and just leave their cars in the middle of the freeway. (Perhaps I exaggerate, but not as much as you might hope). It would drive (no pun intended) Midwestern transplants I've met mad, and left me with the idea that we were the only ones who couldn't deal with the weather. After all, it rains every year. You'd think we'd get used to it. In Portugal it was a bit the same.

In London, the underground gets closed for anything. A leaf on the track has closed a line before, which sounds like an urban myth, but I think is actual historically documented fact. When there's snow, which is only a few days a year, there are always problems. And what do people say? There is snow every year, so why should they be surprised? You'd think they'd get used to it. In Denmark, there is more snow than in London, and whenever there is snow, especially the first couple of days after a snowfall, there are major transportation problems. And guess what people say...there is snow every year. You'd think they'd get used to it. 'Hvor svært kan det være?' - 'How hard can it be?'

As I continue my journey Northward through Europe, I eagerly await the time when I find the country which has 'gotten used to' winter weather. But does that country exist in reality, or only in another parallel universe? I await response from any readers from colder climes; Finland, Siberia, maybe Greenland. Do your trains run on time on the first day(s) of snow? Because ours sure don't, and I'm getting a bit tired of waiting outside in the cold.

7 kommentarer:

Daphnewood sagde ...

The first major snowfall in KC (remember the pictures?) was horrible. When I complained to my friend that I nearly got killed trying to get to the hospital she replied "I don't understand this town. They know it snows every year yet every year at the first snowfall they drive like idiots!" So I think it is a worldwide phenomenon but I too am interested in hearing from icy climates.

ps. I had the hardest time loading your blog the past couple of days. I am glad that what ever gremlin was messing with my stuff is gone.

Sangroncito sagde ...

I get so nostalgic about snow...I spent my childhood in NY and PA and I loved the sledding, skating and the beauty of snow covered Central Park.

Simple American sagde ...

Makes you kind of wonder. Is there anyplace that might not know how to act when they had a sunny day.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

This is a fault of all human societies, no matter how acclimated to cold and snow they become. Humans cannot see fourth-dimensionally as the Great Old Ones and any of our partly-human descendants who have performed the Dho-hna formula can, so they lack the sense to prepare in advance for an event they cannot accurately predict the onset of. Humans might whine that they cannot adjust for the snow until after it is there to adjust to, but this is just due to their fourth-dimensional blindness

Vanessa sagde ...

You do not exaggerate by much - Northern California does forget how to drive at the slightest but of rain. Traffic backs up, accidents around every corner, and while I personally dont use the public transportation (its practically nonexistent) I've heard that it gets very screwy as well. And of course, the slightest bit of rain is always at the top of the news hour.
However, Northern California is not nearly as neurotic as Southern California when it comes to precipitation

kimananda sagde ...

Hi Daphnewood...I'm glad to hear it is the same in KC. I think you're right, it must be universal.

Sangroncito, I am the opposite I think. I hadn't seen snow more than a handful of times as a kid, and I didn't actually see snow falling until I was probably about 30. So for me it is still quite a new concept.

Mr. American - :-) Your comments make me laugh! And then they make me spend lots of time trying to find out if there is anyplace that might not know how to act in sunny weather.

Chibithulhu - you are a deep little stuffed...I mean, erm, you are a deep stuffed citizen of the deep. Perhaps it is just not being able to plan for anything that isn't already here. Also known as bureaucracy. Yep, that's it!

Vanessa, I'm glad to hear that it's all of California and not just us Northerners!

HanktheDog sagde ...

The trains in Japan are pretty amazing, but I don't recall how they worked during the first day of snow. In western NY, the Buffalo airport is a wonder. It's a tough place to shut down. The snowplows move around in a blizzard like super efficient snow terminators. It almost seems as if there are no humans inside, they're so efficient. Truly, a kind of parallel universe.