They’ll Put You On The Right Track

, , , , , | Right | May 2, 2021

I’m traveling without my parents for the first time. I’m in the Munich train station trying to get to Berlin. I have a train booked and am waiting at the platform. I hear an announcement in German (I only speak English) but don’t think anything of it.

Five minutes after my train was meant to arrive, I start to get suspicious, so I check out the live platform information TVs and find that my train has been moved to another platform and has since departed. I am tired and near tears as I don’t know what to do!

I find my way to the information desk where several other tourists and I are shunted from person to person. The first window we line up at is closing as the operator is due for a break, so he sends us to another window, but they can’t help at all with any inquiries at the time so they send us back to the original window. After quite a few minutes of confusion, we’re finally sent to a window that can help us.

When it’s my turn, I’m still holding back tears and barely manage to explain to the lady what has happened without breaking down. She must deal with hundreds of tourists in her country who don’t speak her language, but she speaks perfect English.

She takes so much pity on me and gives me a ticket for a new train, free of charge, even with the first-class seat I paid for originally! She then very kindly points out the platform I am meant to wait at and tells me when the train will be coming and what carriage I will be in. I am in Berlin only a few hours later than expected thanks to her kindness!

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When Work Follows You Home On The Bus

, , , , | Right | April 30, 2021

In England, unless the driver has massively wronged you, you generally say, “Thank you,” to them as you disembark a bus. Getting off the bus after a long shift, my brain gets a little mixed up.

So, instead of saying, “Thank you,” I come out with a good old: 

Me: “Can I help you?”

And I said it at full customer-service volume.

There was quite a long, frozen pause until the driver drove off.

Thank God there was no one waiting to board.

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It’s A Good Thing She’s Not Driving

, , , , | Right | April 20, 2021

I’m standing at a train station. The train I’m waiting for just arrived and the display says, “Do not enter.” A woman approaches me.

Woman: “Is this the train to Leipzig?”

Me: “Yes, it’s just being cleaned right now.”

Woman: “But it doesn’t say Leipzig on the display.” 

Me: “That’s to stop people from entering so that the cleaning crew can do their job quickly and without being disturbed.”

Woman: “But why doesn’t it say Leipzig on the display?”

Me: “Because they need to clean the train and people should wait until they’ve finished. It goes to Leipzig. Trust me, I take this train every day to work.” 

Woman: “So I can enter?”

Me: “Please don’t; they’re still cleaning. Just wait a little bit. This usually just takes just a few minutes.”

Almost all seats in the waiting area are empty; it really doesn’t matter if you’re sitting there waiting or on the train itself.

Woman: “But it goes to Leipzig?” 

Me: “Yes. Don’t worry; we’ve got another twenty minutes until it leaves.”

Woman: “So I can enter, right?”

I am fed up with her inability to listen.

Me: “Well, what does the display say?” 

The woman looked at me, looked at the display which literally still said, “Do not enter,” and then entered the train.

Through the window, I could see her sitting down and spreading out her bags and stuff across four seats before talking to the man who was still working in that area.

When I got on, I heard her telling someone on the phone about how rude the cleaning guy was and that she couldn’t have known that she was supposed to wait. 

Sometimes I ask myself how people like that manage to get through life.

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Why Won’t You Just Please Take Your Items?

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2021

I am on the bus. A group of teenagers are at the back and talking rather loudly, so I hear one say the following:

Teen: “You are being such an unexpected item in the bagging area now!”

After hearing more of the conversation, it turned out she works for the local supermarket!

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The Kids Are Out For Blood

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 28, 2021

I am taking a bus home from college. It is around a four-hour trip, and unfortunately, the bus is both late at night and has some short plastic chairs, rather than the big soft chairs you see on some buses. So, I have to just lean my back against the window and try to get as comfortable as I can to try and sleep a bit.

The bus has started moving, and I am just starting to doze off when I feel a sudden sharp pain in my ear. I jerk awake and flail a bit, hitting the source of the pain: a young kid who is standing up on his mom’s lap in the seats behind me, and who had leaned forward to BITE MY EAR.

Naturally, the kid starts bawling after getting hit by my flailing arm, and the mom starts screeching.

Mom: “How dare you hit my—”

I’m not really paying attention, instead reaching up to touch my ear, and when I pull my finger away, it is slick with blood. I hold up my bloody fingertips.

Me: “What the h***?!”

Mom: “You can’t just—”

Me: “Why weren’t you—”

We are both shouting over each other at that point, and most of the people on the bus have turned to look. I start to stand up, aiming to stumble up to the front and see about using the first aid kit I’d seen next to the driver. The lady lunges forward, I guess to try and grab me, and I end up batting her hand away and then winding up a punch. At that point, she lifts up her still-bawling kid, apparently to use him as a human shield.

I don’t punch, just grab my bag and stumble to the front amid quite a few glares from some of the other passengers. I get to the front just as the driver finishes pulling over due to the commotion, and the lights come on as he puts the bus in park.

Bus Driver: “What’s going on back here?”

I raise my voice a bit over the woman’s attempts to shout out her version of events. 

Me: “Her kid bit me.”

I tilted my head to show him, and he actually recoiled, because it turns out that the kid had managed to actually tear the top of my earlobe when he bit down and I jerked away. He headed past me to talk to the woman, and an older lady ended up pulling me to sit by her as she used the first aid supplies to fix up my ear as best she could. The lady was still screaming, but most of my focus was stolen by the pain from the antiseptic wipes.

In the end, the driver walked back up past me and started up the bus. The kid kept crying for a good section of the trip but eventually quieted down. I kept glancing back occasionally, and of course, the woman was glaring at me each time, so once the trip finally ended, I hurried to be the first off the bus. I got down and got my luggage from the compartment underneath, and I was turning to go try to find my parents in the parking lot when I spotted something moving toward me out of the corner of my eye.

It was the kid, charging headlong toward me. I jumped back, which meant that when he went to kick my shin, he ended up falling on his butt, instead. Naturally, his mother was right there to start screaming again, so I turned and booked it. I basically dove into my parent’s van when I saw them in the parking lot, and we drove off.

I didn’t end up telling them about what had happened until we were already home; it was dark enough that they hadn’t seen the bandage on my ear. They were both ready to drive back down and see if they could find the woman, and they gave me an earful about how I should have gotten contact details from the driver and such and talked to the police to make sure my side was on record. I ended up spending most of that break paranoid that the lady would show up with the cops to arrest me for hitting her kid or something. Thankfully, they weren’t on my return bus, and I never saw them again.

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