Mar 07 2008

Commuting chaos continued…

(Sorry…I can never resist the chance to bang out some alliteration …especially in an entry title!)

Two weeks ago, Sweden's national weather forecasting service declared (prematurely, it turns out) that spring had arrived. Evidently the southen portion of the country had met some pre-determined meteorological cryteria set up by these weather wizards to determine the official change of season: 7 consecutive days of average temperatures above 0 Celsius. (That's 32 Fahrenheit for my metrically-impared readers.)

So imagine my surprise when I got up on Wednesday morning (March 5th) to find snow on the ground and the mercury hovering around -3.  Needless to say, I bundled up for my 10-minute trudge to the train station, including duckboots, gloves and my wrap-around ear-muffs (worn for the first time this year). Now I realize that this may sound like over-kill, but it turned out to be a rather fortuitous decision.

After slipping and sliding my way to Malmö Central, I grabbed my usual seat in the Quiet Car and felt a great sense of relief when the train actually accelerated to reasonable rate speed after clearing the rail yard.  It looked like there would be no repeat of the previous morning's journey via the Molasses-in-Winter Special.

All was well until shortly after we left Lund when an agitated young man marched into the Quiet Car and proceeded to bang loudly on the door leading to the engineer's cabin. My initial thought was, "Geez it's awfully early to be drunk."  Of course he got no response from the engineer, and he stomped out of the car mumbling something under his breath.

I was about to go back to my Sudoku puzzle when I realized that I didn't recognize the landscape hurtling by the windows, and suddenly I understood what the stomping (and likely sober) man was upset about. The train had been diverted to a secondary northbound route that did not pass through Landskrona. GREAT.

The engineer came on the public address system a few moments later to tell us Landskrona passengers that we would have to disembark at Ramlösa…which is about three stops north of where we needed to be.  And the southbound train we'd need to catch to Landskrona wasn't expected until 7:20…about 15 minutes after we were dumped there.

I soon learned that the train station in Ramlösa had a very limited amount of shelter for waiting passengers, so I was very grateful for my duckboots, gloves and ear-muffs. Once onboard the southbound train, it took another 15 minutes to get back down to Landskrona. I finally arrived at my office at 7:50 a.m.,  an hour and a-half after I'd left my apartment.

Who ever would have guessed that the Molasses-in-Winter Special was faster?

Feed my ego!

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