Arriving on a station platform yesterday, I was greeted by one of those announcements along the lines of: ‘If you’re going to Destination X, you’re clearly a person of no importance and you can huddle in the front 4 carriages and be thankful.’
And was struck by the thought: how do people work these things out? For instance, if a train is in the terminal even I can work out that the front of it is going to be the end that isn’t pressed up against the ticket barrier. But if it’s just there, in the station, and you didn’t see it arrive, how do you know where the front is, any more than you know where to start feeding a tucked-in tortoise? And yet everyone else can be seen streaming confidently towards what does, invariably, turn out to be the right end.
This must be the same talent that allows everyone (else) to find their way back to their own coach after a ferry crossing. It’s one I don’t have; indeed, some of us would settle for being able to find our own car after a spot of shopping. I’d love to blame all this on age, and then I could look back to a carefree youth spent leaping on and off moving buses without ever once finding I was on the wrong one. Well, I can’t.
There must be a solution to all this, but clearly this page isn’t the place to find one…
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