Saturday, December 02, 2006

A break from the routine

Today was filled with a bit of rushing about, but I wanted to take the kids to the station and on a train ride which would be special as it was XXXth anniversary of the XXX to XX line. So this would give a short trip on a different type of train. Unfortunately the much desired ‘double-decker’ train was sold out. S especially was disappointed, but reluctantly agreed to take another vintage train instead. I was trying to console him and we went to first take a look and some pics (I hope inshAllah I can figure out how to upload photos, I’ve been putting this off for ages) at the super duper double decker. Still S was a bit regretful, why hadn’t we come earlier etc. I am so glad in Islam we cannot say ‘if only..’ we have to be optimistic as well. So I tried to instil this in S. I tried to explain that his grandchildren inshAllah find this train ‘old-fashioned (as he was thinking the replacement train was). We waved the train off, with its passengers apparently thinking we were barmy as no one waved back! S commented later that no one looked happy to be on that train, the injustice of it! No dear, we’re living in Sweden. So then we got on what I thought was our train, which the kids were totally unimpressed with from the outside, but when we got inside via the v scary steps into the carriage, they were quite chuffed with the interior, with seats like armchairs. S said something along the lines of ‘You know you talked about ‘ or something, well I think this train is it’ No one seemed to know if this train would depart soon, until one train spotter said it was going nowhere! Hufff, I had to quickly get all of us out, back over the scary steep, big-gap steps of this well-over 60 year old train’s exit, so we could find our correct train. MashAllah, no complaints or moans from little ones, and we found our train on another platform, which was even more disappointing to them, but it had an easy step for the buggy to ascend, so I loved it.
Well this was one from the 50’s so tried to insert a little sense of history again into all of this, by saying their granddad would’ve been about their age when he could have travelled on this when it was brand spanking new, and it would’ve seemed great to him (?!) There was a speedometer in the section we sat, and we made it to 80 km/hr. I asked the conductor what some strange orange tools S had enquired about were (he said something about making it safe to deal with the electricity if it broke down, had taken a guess at jump-leads, so I was nearly right)
Then the highlight of the trip was the conductor’s James Bond impression as he calmly opened a door in the back of the carriage and walked across to the next carriage via the open air! I thought that was reserved for the beggars on the tube. S could hardly believe his eyes I think, and he had a good look out the back to see where the conductor had had to walk.
We got to our destination, safe and sound Alhamdulillah, and then saw a Swedish Thomas tank type train. Then tried to sort out a ticket back home, but had to find a toilet for H. Then found I didn’t have a 5 kronor coin, but a lady just came out so we managed to get in for free. It was either that or someone would’ve had to mop the floor with bleach. There ought to be free little people sized loos, like do I have time to go and change a note when I have a full-bladdered 3 year old demanding to go?
Got tickets and while we waited, saw Thomas depart with a whistle and lots of smoke. It was a multi-sensory experience I’ll say that. Then we took the standard train back that also goes to to a different country ‘no we can’t go there S, we haven’t got our passports’. That was very smooth and fast and we actually beat Thomas by a few minutes. The final modern train was voted the best (after the double-decker, though H wanted to go on the modern but slow local train, which I think stops at every station). So next time folks, book in advance or you may as well just take them on a normal train whenever you have time and save a few pennies too! Alhamdulillah, though, it was great to do something different, even though I was totally worn out from it all!


ummrashid said...

This is a lovely story and it seems that you actually got a tour of a variety of trains, which must be better than one train only!

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