Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Trains

The front page of Liberation says there’s a debate about SNCF deciding to devote whole carriages to families during the summer rush.

Sharing a carriage this morning with about 30-odd adolescent girls on their way to England, I say why stop there?

Why not special carriages for school trips? Why no special carriages for frequent travellers? Why not carriages so special that no one can go in them?

Some families told the paper they’d had snotty comments from people and that’s why they wanted them.

Anyone who is narked about children during a train journey should, in my view, be thankful they don’t have them when the journey is over.

I have to admit that before I had children I never noticed them on a journey. Now that I have three of the darlings, I notice the noise.

If there’s a tot screaming, I’d never go up and rail at the parent. Equally if someone came up to me to moan about one of my children, I’d listen to their complaint and then probably ask them to go and arrange their upgrade with the train manager.

Most people, I would imagine, would look for another “less noisy” space.

But it does seem strange that the perception of public domain doesn’t take in other members of the public.

Most people anyway do seem to be locked into their private worlds. It is rare to see anyone these days without their Ipod or earphones tapped into their computers.

Do they really hear that much of the outside world at the best of times?

As I turn up the music on my earphones, I might ask the Guardian if they fancy a travel piece on it.