When I last left you with my continuing saga of foiled travel plans, I had not yet made it down to Aix-en-Provence due to a cancelled train. (Rule #1 during a strike: prepare to change original itinerary at a moment’s notice).
I was able to get on a train easily the next day (along with the entire waiting area of Gare de Lyon apparently). However, 5 minutes from pulling into Aix’s train station, we stopped abruptly. “A man on the tracks,” we were informed. A half hour later, the conductor further explained that the man was “putting himself in danger.”
Authorities from first the SNCF, then the police, then the firemen were called “to reason” with the man (wow, the euphemisms!) An hour and a half of reasoning later, people on the train were starting to lose it, too.
“I can’t take it anymore,” a man next to me said. “Not to be mean, but if the guy’s really trying to off himself, it shouldn’t take this long.” The nervous man went to smoke (illegally) in the bathroom.
Now I was not at all going down this line of logic, but I did wonder why after that long one of the strong firemen didn’t simply escort the distressed man from the tracks.
You’ll forgive me if by this point I am not posing the question whether travelling during strike-heavy periods is such a good idea.
As usual, though, once arrived, I was delighted I came:
For all the scenery, though, I’m staying right here in Paris until the strikes are over. (My original train back was, of course, cancelled). I’m happy to have safely returned.