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.