Thursday, June 08, 2006

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

We were supposed arrive at base for 10am. I did, but they didn’t. We were supposed to drive. We didn’t. So we got the Eurostar to Brussels. Between Brussels and Frankfurt, we were supposed to pass by Eupen to see Sunday Oliseh (who should be contributing to the programme), which was why we got the train in the first place. We didn’t. So we got the train to Frankfurt via Cologne. Left London at 1413hrs, and arrived Frankfurt at 2300hrs last night, each costing more than 300 euros. Basically, we should have flown. We didn’t.

I’m not too fussed, as I fulfilled a boyhood dream of going on Eurostar. There’s nothing particularly glamorous about it, after all, it’s just British grass, tunnel, French grass. (And to answer that age old question: French cows look just the same as English cows. No baguettes attached to their udders or garlic cloves hanging from their ears). What’s the big deal with the Chunnel? The Channel Tunnel is a boyhood dream turned into reality. The fact that you can go underneath such a huge body of water, and emerge unscathed on the other side is mind boggling. It’s the technological equivalent of schoolboys holding their noses and dipping their heads underwater to see who can hold their breath the longest. The Channel Tunnel does it for 20 minutes, and wins every time.

For the Brits, the Channel Tunnel Rail link is simply the fastest line on the British railway network. What a pity it leads out of the country. As everyone knows the Brits don’t do public transport very well, and sluggish railway lines are the depth of this abyss. Europe has railway travel supremely organised. There are high speed trains between any two major cities, and lateness is an alien word. Contrast this to getting a train from Newcastle to Birmingham, a distance that of merely 200miles, yet the journey becomes the railway trek through the Penines. Plodding along merrily, taking in the scenery, but not getting anywhere very quickly.

In JFK’s brief tenure as American president, he made many speeches which remain iconic even until now. And his Ich bin ein Berliner speech was one of them. He was obviously trying to say, “I am a Berliner”, but his accent was so rubbish that what he said translated as, “I am a donut”. Jackie O would probably agree, given his philandering ways. I type this from internet café in Frankfurt, so like JFK, I should express my solidarity with the people of Frankfurt. You know where this is going right? Ja, ich bin ein Frankfurter, which in a manner of speaking, means, “I am a sausage.” It doesn’t matter too much, as long as I’m a tasty sausage. Tchus.

Ps I notice from the retorts that quite a few readers have thing for German beer. Naughty, naughty.


tori said...

LMAO. This last post killed me. I love the upbeat, absolutley-nothing-can-spoil-this-experience-for-me attitude. Enjoy.

And eat a frankfurter in my honor.

TMinx said...

In my honour toooo lol.

I did the eurostar journey too when i studying and loved getting to waterloo in 2 hrs because of the time difference.


The eurostar thing have been quite an experience. Im greeeeeeeeen i really wish i could do that sometime soon. Seems like nothing could possibly spoil this trip in your eyes. Have fun!!!!!! or pretend to.

Nneka's World said...


"French cows look just the same as English cows. No baguettes attached to their udders or garlic cloves hanging from their ears"
I want to do the eurostar experience!!!

Would do that very soon.

yeah dont forget the beer, i love the banana flavour

Anonymous said...

You were well into your teens when the channel tunnel was completed.

How could it be a "boyhood dream"?

Why do you feel the need to mention boyhood dream twice?

Nkem said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nkem said...

Kemi, if you want turn this into a London Review of Books critique of my blog, you know where to get off. I don't blog to try and impress you. I was in secondary school when the Channel Tunnel project started, is that too old to be a boy? Verlassen Sie mich.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't realise this was a "praise-only" blog... you know what they say about those who can't take criticism.

The point is that your blog is also your CV, so you are trying to impress some people with it.
A bit more attention to detail could be the difference between getting turned down or not for all those jobs you've applied for.

There's no point asking them to come to the blog if you keep writing in it as if it's the diary under your pillow, for your eyes only.

A good friend will tell you the truth, even if it offends you and they will tell you to your face.

If the adulation of faceless strangers is what you're after then I'll keep my mouth shut.

Nkem said...

I wrote the article in two parts, and didn't have time to read over it. point taken that I shouldn't have said it twice. But this is a blog, it'll be silly to think that everything written here can go into a newspaper or magazine. It's normally obvious which posts are set articles and which ones are on-the-fly blogs. Besides, nobody gets printed without an editor carving up some it. An editor would have spotted my mistake. Okay, you think my writing is rubbish. I will try and improve.

Anonymous said...

I don't think your writing is rubbish, but if the choice is between hiring someone whose work requires just a little bit of adjustment, and yours which requires a whole load of carving up, they will always take the former.

No editor wants a writer who will make his life more difficult.

I am not saying that everything written here will be going into a magazine, but that is the standard you should aim for.

Attention to detail is a very important trait and it is what separates the hardworker from the sloppy one.

I hope you're commiserating with your Ghanaian brothers.