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Heuston Station, Dublin – addendum January 23, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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And so it was, that before I had spouted all of my observations about Heuston and its transient inhabitants, I was cut off. I didn’t get much notice either – just a flashing icon that said I had 30 seconds left. And the whole “American internet” (as my work colleague would say) was on a go slow, so I had barely time to write a goodbye.

I didn’t have much more to add really …

I think the two biddies who were fretting about their train (25 yards away remember) might just have made it as the conductor blew his whistle. Mr.Agitated was never seen from again although that characteristic permeated the walk to the platform. A station security guard – well I think that’s what he was because he had a hat – shouted at a cab driver not to let people out in the middle of the lane of flowing traffic but his cab was already ejecting its occupants so nothing could be done.

Then when we were queuing for the train – don’t the Irish just love queues ? … when we were in line for the security station to get to our platform it was pissing down rain. The authorities who, in their infinite wisdom, somehow saw fit to construct a roof, nay two roofs, of exactly the same height and at the exact spot where most people stand in line but with a three foot gap, must quickly take a bow – its a sight to behold as people try to dodge both the queue and the rain !

The kicker came on the exceedingly busy train itself. Not only do you have to be on the train 45 minutes beforehand to get a seat but you are also guaranteed that the 3 seats around you in the block of 4 will be also occupied. On the inbound journey that morning there was even a commuter with his arse planted firmly on our table !

And so it was that I ended up with happy-clappy, over chatty Thai lady and her salt of the earth Dublin boyfriend (suitably tracksuit clad, of course) as well as the biggest country bumpkin you could find, giving them tourist advice – “be Jaysis, yer frum Ty-land ? That must be some quare place altogether hah ?” They were the kind of couple that didn’t quite look right together …. before 20 minutes had elapsed I had a pain in my ear from her talking at me .

I resorted to burying my head in my book and smodding* politely … and so the journey petered out before I knew it thanks to the wonderful writing of Khaled Hosseini and his book “The Kite Runner” – I can’t wait to get back to it.

* smodding – a mixture of smiling and nodding, while meaning neither ! You heard it here first 🙂

Heuston Station, Dublin – an observation January 22, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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So here I am, waiting for the train home, eager to be away from the foul, overcrowded and rain lashed streets of Dublin and get back “down the country”. So I thought I’d blog from Heuston Station – a poorly executed attempt at a modern European train station but sure what can you do – ’tis Ireland after all.

So I’m standing art one of the internet booths which costs €1 an hour. I think it’s in the middle of one of those Wi-Fi zones where anyone with a laptop can get on the web but alas there doesn’t seem to be much demand …. plenty of oul biddies running for the next train to Portarlington alright but no laptop users.

And so I thought, to while away the minutes before my departure I’d tell you good people about a few of the funny folk knocking about this place. Mad busy it is but if you stop and observe, there are a few great characters that will pass. Bear in mind that for my 4 hour train journey I need to be on the train a full 45 minutes before it leaves, just to I can get a seat. It costs €25 return whether or not your ass gets to sit down !

The fellow behind me has been annoying me for the past few minutes – he reminds me of one of those bewildered looking observers you see in travel programs about China – not doing anything in particular but staring at what you are doing as if you had three heads. And then he distractedly walks over to the next free booth and taps a few idle keys, tuts loudly and then takes up his position again. I guess he’s waiting to log on to this booth but I had to pay for it so he can wait !

Across the way there are two oul wans deeply involved in conversation – every so often – well every few seconds in fact, they look aggitatedly at their watches, nod at one another and then glance around as if a magical train conductor is going to appear to reassure them that they won’t miss their train which is 25 yards away at platform 2.  Reminds me of situations where people are so anxious not to be late, they fuss so much that they actually end up being really  late !
The loud speaker is apologising ad nauseum that the next train to Kildare is cancelled because of leaves on the line something or other and theres a conductor type person just standing there under the sign telling people the same information. You’d be amazed the people who just keep walking even after he has told them !

And heres the clincher – I’m about to be cut off – more anon …