Saturday, April 09, 2005

rail madras

08457 48 49 50...dring dring...

-"yes, I'm trying to get to chichester tomorrow morning. there is a train which leaves victoria at 8.37 and arrives at chichester at 10.07. However, I will be leaving from deptford. does the victoia train stop at london bridge or clapham junction?"

- "um. yes. train leaving from bomb...chichester.."

- "no, i am going to chichester"

- "leaving from clapham junction to victoria direct to chichester via deptford. yes there is a direct service but changing at london bridge."

etc etc

The poor bloke. Both of us utterly exasperated after 15 minutes I actually said, like a real racist:

"Have you ever been to England?"

Ouch. (Sorry.)

But what has happened to the British Rail information service? They have hired a whole lot of people in India because they are cheap but not because they have any knowledge of the British rail network, or interest for that matter. Why should they?

Gone are the days when the response would be:

"Better off leaving Deptford on the 8.14 and changing at London Bridge where there are fewer escalators for the cello, and getting the 8.45 to Chichester which will bring you in on the same train at 10.07. And by the way, what DO you use your mac for?"


Anonymous morphess said...

I feel for you...and I hate myself too when I wang on about it, but it really is most frustrating trying to ring directory enquiries and finding oneself talking to someone in Bombay..

Happy home coming - and no more flirting with random strangers please ;-)

8:46 AM  
Blogger Sammy said...

Oh no... this mistake the Brits have made will surely have greater consequences than any of us can imagine.

I remember when I was in India, buying a train ticket was oftentimes more complicated than getting a passport renewal what with all the queues (and even forms sometimes) for one measly little ticket!

Indian man + bureaucracy = True love 4 ever!

God save England!

10:13 AM  

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