In times gone by, catching a train from a main line terminus, such as Paddington, was a straightforward, relaxed, hassle-free process (as long as you weren't late). I did it several times. I would generally find myself arriving at the station half an hour or so before the train was due to leave. I would buy my ticket (if I didn't have one already), check the departures board, find out which platform my train was going from, wander up to the end of it, get on the train, and sit in a nice comfortable seat in the warm while I waited for the train to go. If the train wasn't in yet I would hang around up near the end of the platform in a nice un-crowded space without loads of fucking people milling around me and wait for the train in peace. It was all simple and straightforward and no trouble at all.
These days the stupid fuckers that run stations have totally fucked that once-unobjectionable experience up. The train still arrives in the station half an hour before it is due to leave, and is still described on the departure board for all that time, but without the crucial information of which platform it is going from. Nor does it help if you use it regularly enough to know which of the several empty trains sat in platforms it is without being told, because the bastards add insult to injury in the form of fucking gates blocking off the platform which they won't let you through, like the cunts they are.
The result is that you have to spend the time waiting for the train hanging around on the fucking concourse, in the middle of a crowd, getting in everybody's way with nowhere to go to get out of it without getting in someone else's way, and generally feeling like a lemon. Then five minutes before the train leaves they finally display its platform number on the departures board, and at once there is a massive rush as hundreds of people all at once charge towards the platform and there is a massive scrum and barging and shoving and racing to get ahead in an attempt to get a seat. So the waiting is shite, the boarding is shite, the chance of getting a seat is shite, and basically everything about it is fucking shite.
Fuck that shit. Running for a train through a struggling scrum of people is something I only expect to have to do if I'm fucking late for it, not something I am made to do as a matter of course by way of the station being run by cunts. Nor do I want to be made to fight for a fucking seat as a matter of course; I want to be able to get a seat simply by turning up early enough that there still are some without any barging and rushing and fighting. And I want to be able to wait for the train's departure in comfort, which means, preferably, on the train itself, or failing that somewhere where there is at least a decent amount of space and I can be away from other people instead of shoved into the middle of a milling crowd. Absolutely the last fucking place I want to be waiting is on the fucking station concourse, since unless the station is pretty well deserted the concourse is by far the most oppressive part of it.
But the trouble is the fucking cunts who run the station run it for their own benefit first and that of the passengers second, which is of course the wrong fucking way round, and is also yet another piece of fucking shiteness arising from the shitey bloody privatisation and the more general failure to realise that capitalism makes things shite. In the old days station concourses didn't have anything on them except actual railway things and a newspaper kiosk or two. These days, however, they are stuffed full of crappy fucking shops selling all kinds of arse and cluttering the place up so it is even more crowded and awkward than it would be without them. And the shitlicking fucking bastards who run the station deliberately make sure that passengers can't wait anywhere except the concourse so they buy shit from these crappy shops.
FUCK the fucking shops. Quite apart from it being the act of a total fucking wanker to try and set things up so that people spend money when otherwise they would have been perfectly happy not spending it, ALL SHOPS ON RAILWAY STATION CONCOURSES ARE FUCKING SHITE. Because they are a MASSIVE FUCKING RIP-OFF. Anything you buy on a railway station costs fucking LOADS more than you could buy the same thing for if you just went out of the station and found the nearest corner shop. They are fucking cunts. So if I am waiting on a station for half an hour and I want to buy something then I fucking will go out of the station and buy it from a corner shop, because I'm not fucking stupid.
The rip-off is further magnified by the fact that so many of these shops don't actually sell ordinary stuff, they sell poncy fancy-arsed stuff and charge even more fucking outrageous prices for it. If you want a cup of coffee, you can't actually get "a cup of coffee". You used to be able to, because after all it's simple enough to make a cup of coffee; all you do is put some coffee granules and milk and hot water in a cup and there you go. But these days, although there are places on stations which purport to sell coffee, if you go and ask them for a cup of coffee they don't know what you're talking about. (Well, actually, they do, but they make out like they don't in order to be pretentious arseholes.) What they do have is a fucking enormous long menu of this and that and the other, every item with a pretentious name in dog-Italian that would make a real Italian person piss themselves, none of which convey any obvious meaning, none of which actually correspond to "a cup of coffee", and none of which give any clue as to which might be the closest approximation. All you can do is order some fucking pretentious fancy-arsed bollocks thing which is an embarrassment to even utter the name of and then pay a fucking outrageous amount of money for it. And it doesn't even work to say "look, just put some coffee and milk and hot water in a cup, like you would do at home, and give me that", because they will just say they can't do it. Which is of course pure undiluted bullshit. They perfectly well can fucking do it, but they won't do it, because it's not pretentious enough. Fucking poncy up-their-own-arse shits.
It's the same with food. Sandwiches bought on a station cost twice the price of sandwiches bought from a corner shop, and are far more likely to be some ridiculous concoction of weird ingredients at least one of which is inedibly vile so it's not worth buying the thing in the first place. That is if you even can buy something as commonplace as a sandwich. What you are more likely to get is some lying bastard selling "home-made" - yur, right, like you actually can make enough stuff for thousands of customers a day in your own kitchen - pies or pastries or something, most of which again contain incredibly weird ingredients that make them a dubious proposition from the start, and all of which cost a fucking fortune. There will probably be several shops like this, all flogging the same kind of perversion of their choice of base food item, all with menus full of such weird shit that only a couple of items look even vaguely safe to try and even those you can expect them to have made them in some utterly strange way thereby rendering them inedible, and all horrendously fucking expensive. You could spend the same money in a fish and chip shop and get proper meals with normal ingredients made in a normal way to feed two people and make them thoroughly full. It's fucking ridiculous.
So bollocks to buying shit from the shops on the concourse, because it is shit, and fucking expensive shit too. And especially bollocks to buying shit from shops on the concourse when they are deliberately trapping passengers on the concourse to try and make me buy shit. That alone is enough to make me determined to not buy it even if it wasn't shit and wasn't twice the price it is anywhere else. Just fuck off with this fungal infestation of shit shops that get in the fucking way and sell nothing but arse at arse prices. Have one shop selling normal stuff at the same price you'd pay anywhere else, and put the fucking thing off to the side so it isn't in the fucking way for everyone whether they're using it or not. I don't give a screaming fuck that it would make less money. A station is not there to provide a service to rip-off cunts with shit shops trying to make money, it's there to provide a service to passengers waiting for trains, and it can do that far better with one sensible shop with sensible prices in a sensible location than with a whole fucking cluster of expensive shops selling poncy shite sited so as to cause maximum obstruction and waste loads of space in an area which would be quite crowded enough even without that. And it can also do it far better by allowing the passengers to make use of the space on the platforms and to get onto the train where it's comfortable and you can sit down as soon as it's there to be got onto, instead of confining them to what is already inevitably the most crowded and shitty part of the station in a heaving mass.
And fuck RIGHT off with this BULLSHIT excuse about "needing to service the trains". It is the most blatant fucking arse. You're not fucking "servicing" the trains, for a start; that's what they do in the maintenance depots. You're sending some cunt with a bin bag to walk through the fucking train and pick up the rubbish. It's not exactly a difficult thing. You could train a fucking dog to do it if it could carry the bin bag. But more importantly, you always USED to fucking do it WITHOUT blocking the passengers off from the train. Many a time I have sat in a mostly-empty train and some bod has ambled down the aisle picking up rubbish without suffering the slightest fucking difficulty in doing it. If you could fucking do it with passengers on board back then, you can fucking well still do it with passengers on board now, so shut the fuck up with this transparently fucking stupid "servicing" bollocks.
Fuck the fucking gates off, go back to announcing the platforms as soon as you know them, stop being a pain in the arse to people on purpose to try and get them to spend fucking money, stop issuing idiotic bullshit excuses that are fucking obviously not true, and stop being such a bunch of FUCKING WANKERS.
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