Because there’s always a drunk guy on the train on the way home who dumps his beer (why are people allowed to bring open containers on board in the first place?) harasses female passengers, and lights up a cigarette despite the fact that smoking is forbidden on board. Seriously. The exact same thing happened when we were on our way back from Falkenberg last Christmas. (Hell, it may have even been the same guy…though public drunkeness is commonplace around holidays.)
The trip up to Halmstad on Friday morning wasn’t much better. The train was packed as usual, and in Helsingborg a young scantily-attired latin-looking woman asked if the seat next to me was free. (Dr. Darling was sitting directly across from me.) When I said yes, she turned to the very tall man standing behind her and directed him to the seat … then proceeded to sit in his lap and talk very loudly to him in Spanish, shutting up only long enough to make out with him every five minutes.
The train was standing-room-only at this point, and I’m semi-claustrophobic as it is … so being wedged between the window and half-naked Conchata Chatterbox on Big Daddy Longlegs’ lap was a special kind of torture. And normally I would have suggested they cool it with the inappropriate PDA, but it was the only time Conchata ever shut up. So I sat there, eyes on my Palm Pilot, silently cursing Dr. Darling for not taking the seat next to me when we boarded.
Fortunately they were only going as far as Båstad, and as they left I pulled my backpack up off the floor, plopped it in the empty seat and began to fish around in the outside pockets hoping to discourage anyone else from asking to sit there. (Pretending to be asleep usually works too, but there was far too much noise and activity on the train to pull that one off.)
For a few blissful moments I had the double seat all to myself, and then a mentally disabled man who had clearly skipped his personal hygiene routine that morning (or two, or three) shuffled up and (not being attuned to normal Swedish public transport behaviors) asked if the seat was available even though I was still rummaging busily through my backpack. So I got to sit next to Mr. Stinky the rest of the way to Halmstad. Fun! NOT.
We have GOT to start staying home for holidays … either that, or buy a car.