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I Didn't Train For This

I woke up an hour earlier than usual today. Half an hour earlier than I had planned in addition to the half hour I intended, and I actually willed myself to get out of bed when I realized this. Good start.

So I was off to work an hour earlier. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and I'm not sure about the birds but I was in a great mood regardless. Gray days of winter begone. It's a New Year.

Little did I know some idiots had tried to derail the trains at Stockholm Central this particular morning. About four hours earlier police had been called in, commuter trains (and other trains) came to a standstill, and out in Bro the platform was barren, the signs blank, and in the loudspeakers an unpersonal robot voice kept relaying: Traffic information: Delays and canceled departures may occur in commuter train traffic following previous police action. Over and over.

I started getting a bit aggravated. I paced around the platform at first (it's good exercise), but eventually gave up and stood still and stubborn, until my feet started to numb and I unwillingly barreled off again on my round. It took over an hour before the first train rolled in... and another half before it reached the next station (the final one on the line) and rolled in again headed back towards Stockholm City.

I did contemplate alternative travel routes, but by bus it would've been over four hours. By car it would have cost. By replacement buses... oh wait there were none. No replacements, no information and no alternate travel routes. No good.

Finally the train did come, and I jumped aboard, but on our way: traffic slowed to a crawl. One station before Stockholm City I jumped off and ran to the subway to circumvent the blockade our conductor warned might lie ahead of us - delaying all potential progress between said two stations.

I ran all stairs (good exercise), caught the first subway train, made it to Stockholm City in good time and jumped on the first commuter train bound South, and waited... after a while someone told us we were waiting on a driver. So we waited some more... eventually the guy popped up on the speakers again and recommended we take the train on the other side of the platform instead, because this might be one long wait.

So I jumped on that train, we pulled out of the station, and onward... and I finally made it to work! Not an hour earlier as I'd hoped, but an hour later. And then some.

My commute time is usually forty minutes. Today it was over three hours.

The thing is I could have stayed home that extra hour and done something useful - like sleep, instead of standing around on a cold platform for over an hour, playing Driver Renegade 3D on the train for another hour, and scurrying between trains and platforms and subway halls for that other half. But oh well, these things happen. At least no trains were derailed, at least it's still a first-world problem rant, and at least I'll be compensated 19 SEK if I spend another ten minutes filling in a questionnaire about the delay! Which I have, btw, it's a symbolic sum.

The skies are gray and cloudy and dark now, and I'm no longer really feeling that New Year spirit and resolve, but tomorrow's a new day, and good times are coming up! First vacation of the year's due this weekend. :) Just hope I don't miss the flight again.

With today in mind I might just take the commuter train to the bus to the airport a bit earlier than I had planned...


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