It’s a universal process – you get onto your chosen mode of public transport (plane, train, and I guess coach…), and until take-off or departure, you sit in your designated seat, waiting and hoping against hope that a better seat is available and that you get there before someone else does. It requires a certain amount of focus and determination to secure the four-in-a-row empty seats on a 747, and in all my years of flying I’ve only managed it once – on the way back from San Francisco, jan 2006.
But that’s not the point of this ‘ere blog post – the point of this, my dear bloglings, is to tell of a bizarre happening. On, in fact, that is still unfolding around me as L and I sit here on the TGV from Lyon to Paris (Lyon because we managed to miss our direct train from Geneva to Paris, and had to re-route – it’s times like this that you thank God for month-long rail passes, fo shiz…)
No, the strangeness unfolding around us began with us following the universal process listed above. We boarded the DOUBLE DECKER TGV (DOUBLE DECKER???? How bad-ass is that! I’m like a 10 year old kid, all excited to be travelling on such fantastic futuristic transport. It couldn’t be better unless the Jetsons were serving drinks!) and took our allocated seats (on the top deck, no less – YAY!!) and the carriage seemed pretty empty. all good. The train pulled away, and no-one else showed up, so L and I moved to the table seats in front of us, to get a lil’ more leg roomage. All good for about 4 or 5 minutes, when four oriental women arrived (I’m trying to work out if they are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or from somewhere else – I’m not having much luck working it out, and it’s not that important, but I do like the be able to furnish you with these details). So these four show up, and start looking curiously at the numbers on both the tables (that’s 8 seats for four people), and point out that these are their seats. No problem, we move back to our seats. And, it seems, just in time, as their arrival then proved to be akin to the appearance of a couple of scout-orcs over the hill in a LOTR battle scene, and over the next 5 minutes EVERY seat in the carriage was filled with oriental peoples from the same party! All of them, hundreds of them, appearing from nowhere. Where the hell were they when the train pulled away from the station? Who gets on a train and doesn’t go and find their seats?? Where does one hide that many tourists on a train? So many questions, with very few plausible answers… Definitely the strangest thing I’ve experienced on a train.by