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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/m/michael.david/1998/basildon

From: John Morris 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: David E. Michael Tries to Catch a Train
Organization: at University of Alberta
Reply-To: John.Morris@UAlberta.CA
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April 4, 1998.

From: David 
Subject: A frustrating experience
Date: 1998/04/04
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Organization: "Cable Internet (post doesn't reflect views of Cable
Newsgroups: uk.railway

Grrrrrrrrrrr! I want to travel by rail from Basildon to Warsaw (i.e.
Warsaw in Poland). So I popped into the travel agents. 'Sorry -- we
don't do rail travel. You'll have to ask at the railway station.'

Next stop, Basildon railway station. 'How much is it to travel from
Basildon to Warsaw please?' The girl at the counter looks at me as if I
am a complete raving nutter. 'Er . . . um . . . I don't know. You'll
have to telephone national rail enquiries on 0800 484950.' I beat a
hasty retreat before she telephones the lunatic asylum.

On arriving home I eagerly dial 0800 484950. I am greeted by a dour
'Hello, please could you tell me how much is it to travel from Basildon
to Warsaw?'
There is a stunned silence.
'Warsaw. Er . . . it's in Poland.'
'Och, nooo. They've given ye the wrong number. Ye want th'international
number. It's 0990 848848.'

I thank him and dial the international number, now quivering with
anticipation. I am greeted by a cheerful answering machine that
indicates that I must press '2' to get the information I need. I
press '2' and wait to be greeted by an intelligent railwayman with an
international timetable.

'Please wait . . . your call will be answered shortly.'

I wait. And I wait. And I wait. Twenty minutes later I am still
so I hang up and dial national rail enquiries again. This time I get an
exceptionally jolly lady with a sense of humour. She lets me into a
secret. 'They are very, very busy at the moment. But if you telephone
them quite late they'll be less busy. Try calling them after 8 p.m.

At just past 8 p.m. I again dial the 0990 848848 number.
'This office closes at 8 p.m. . . .'

Er . . . is there anyone out there who happens to know the price of a
return ticket from Basildon to Warsaw? Or how I could such information?
Or whether I should just give up and fork out the 555 for a plane
ticket instead . . . Suggestions will be gratefully received.

(Dr) David E Michael

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