Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

You're A Star, Eurostar

Airports are another country, they do things differently there.

Entering the departure lounge, you start operating according to a different, Tardis-like logic. Diamond-encrusted model planes suddenly seem desirable. It's all right to start rocking the boat with a martini at eight in the morning. And it seems perfectly normal to be bored & sleepy at ten-thousand feet.

All in all, I like trains better. To some extent, it's probably those old Anna Karenina fantasies re-surfacing, but it's also the fact that you don't end up smelling like a perfume factory after hours of mindless sample-squirting in the taxfree, and that if you end up sitting behind a small, cross child, you can actually change your seats.

Oh, and I'm not going to panic all of a sudden, collar the air hostess wildly and demand to know: "Is this plane quite safe? What's that noise? Let me out!" It can be a bit awkward, for all concerned.

So all in all, I had a rather good time going to Brussels on the Eurostar this weekend. The train left at 6.30 in the morning - yes, apparently people get up at that hour - so most of the time I spent sleeping, probably dreaming in five different languages, since the announcements are all made in English, German, French and Flemish.

And tonight it's back to London again.

I'll tell you about my Brussels adventures later.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Sadia said...

I'm completely with you on trains over planes.

When I envision my untimely death by displacement, I far prefer to be a mangled body on the rails than to explode into bits in the troposphere. Seems more quietly dignified somehow :)

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard said...

Your post reminded me of this weird new Web site that rates airports on how good it is to sleep at the airport:


I'm not sure there IS a good train station to sleep at.

The European train would seem to be the best--in the U.S., Amtrak would seem to dump you off at the absolute worst part of the city every time.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger hen said...

I used to sacred of flying but then I got some aversion therapy getting an internal flight in Venezuela where the Cessna plane had doors held on by a bungee cords, a clearly broken fuel gage and the route flew over the debris of less successful flights. Now I don't blink an eye except maybe at landing because let's face it is not flying that is the problem but hitting the ground. Trains are better though more instinctively human.


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