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This is a question The Worst Journey in the World

Aspley Cherry Garrard was the youngest member of the Scott Polar Expedition when he and two others lost their tent to the winds of a night-time snowstorm. They spent hours in temperatures below -70°F stumbling about the ice floes hoping they'd bump into it as it was their only hope of survival.

OK, so that was bad, but we reckon you've had worse. We know how hard you lot are.

(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 12:40)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Virgin
Sorry folks. Long story coming………

A while back I used to live in Manchester but work in London so it meant a weekly commute down to the smoke on a Monday and back on a Friday.

The return journey was always shit. The train was *always* packed to the roof with standing room only on a Friday night - unless you had a reserved seat which I always did.

So this one Friday, after a brutal week at work, I had a couple of pints before girding my loins and getting on the bloody Virgin train north. As usual, the train was packed to buggery and I found my seat and turfed out some chancer who had tried to nick my reserved seat. I grumpily settled in for the journey home.

Hmmmm. Train not moving. What's up? Then I heard the guard shouting:

"Move down, move down"

And the bastards were cramming more people on this already hideously overcrowded train. Bastards. Still, the train pulled away eventually and I lifted my eyes from my book and saw an exhausted looking girl carrying a baby. And she was standing. Standing all the way from London to Manchester - it was a non-stopping service.

Now I was brought up is to have a few manners. Woman with baby standing - me sitting - not right. So I stood up and offered her my seat, which she gratefully accepted, and I decided to bugger off to the restaurant car and try and get a seat there. I was also quietly boiling about how packed this train was and by the time I'd fought my way up the packed aisles I and reached the restaurant car I was bloody furious with Virgin.

As the food in the restaurant is extortionate it was, as usual, pretty quiet and I managed to get a seat. In fact, I managed to get a double seat to myself. And, as I looked up into First Class, I could see that there was hardly a soul up there in the posh seats. Well that just about did it. I passed from being really, really angry and reached let's-see-how-much-trouble-I-can-cause mode.

So I ordered a bottle of wine and a big meal. I sank the bottle in about 30 minutes (ever noticed how quickly you can drink when you're angry?) and ordered another one. Meal arrived, polished that off and ordered a large whiskey. As that arrived, so did Mr Ticket Inspector.

"Tickets please!" he trilled.

"And you can fuck off as well" I said. "I've got a valid ticket but there's no way I'm showing it to you. And another thing. See this food and booze I've just eaten? - Well I'm not paying for that either. It's a bloody disgrace the way you've packed this train. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're breaking some sort of Health and Safety laws. And, while I'm on, why hell aren't you letting those poor buggers who are standing have the unused seats in first class?"

Well, I was off on one now. I tore into him for about 15 minutes about how crap his company was and how he should be ashamed to be working for them. I ranted on about overcrowding and the idiocy of packing people in like cattle and leaving all that space in first class.

He wasn't happy and eventually we had a slanging match and he said if I didn't produce my ticket and didn't pay for my meal then he would call ahead and have the Transport Police waiting for me when we got to Manchester.

"YOU BLOODY MORON" I yelled. "THAT'S WHAT I WANT! I *WANT* TO BE ARRESTED. I WANT TO BE TAKEN TO COURT. AND WHEN I'M THERE I'LL MAKE SURE THAT THE FUCKING PRESS ARE AS WELL SO I CAN GET MY VIEWS ACROSS ON HOW YOU BLOODY BASTARDS ARE CRAMMING THE TRAINS TO DANGEROUS LEVELS JUST TO MAKE A FEW QUID. NOW PISS OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE....."

Honestly people - I very, very rarely lose my temper but that day I'd just had enough.

So we eventually arrived in Manchester and I sat quietly in my seat and waited for the police to arrive. After about 15 minutes, still no sign of Plod so I decided to go looking for the guard and present myself for arrest. I had to hunt around a bit but eventually found him.

"Well. Here I am. Where's the law. I want to be arrested." I said.

"I've had a word with the station manager and we've decided, in the circumstances, not to have you arrested after all" says guard.

I just looked at him.

"You, and your company, are a fucking bunch of gutless wonders...."

And off I wandered into the night.

Cheers
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 13:41, Reply)
Mein Gott...
Just came back from the shops after buying some rather nice German sausages.
I guess that was my wurst journey.
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 10:07, Reply)
the worst......ever
My worst journey by far, and there have been many during this period, was when I worked as a ticket inspector on the trains. I only lasted two months on the job and this is the story of my final night. I’d had enough abuse at this point from kids calling me “Rozzer” to old ladies telling me to “Catch some real criminals”. WTF! I check tickets, I’m not a police man. This last bloke took the cherry though.

It was a miserable day and I was on the London to Manchester, on a Friday night. Not too bad when the day starts but as the night progresses you get all the scum coming out and heading to the cities for promises of booze and fighting. The chavs are bad enough, but the real nasty pieces of work are the business men who think they so much better then you.

Which brings me nicely to the point. I was busily doing the rounds on the train, which was absolutely heaving with bodies. Loads of commuters coming out of London all squished in like sardines. It was taking ages to check all the tickets, collect the unpaid fares and generally being worn down by the sneers and the attitude. I knew I only had to get past this carriage and I was left with the food and 1st class.

Finally I make it to 1st class and there’s this little fat man (obviously pissed) and stuffing his face with food. Before I’ve even spoken he’s told me to *uck off and then rants about he had a ticket but he’s not going to show me. To cut a long story short, we had a bit of a row (i.e. he slung insults at me, I only wanted to see his ticket). It was getting boring so I threatened him with the old “I’ll have to get the transport police” line. To my utter amazement he wanted to get arrested. He literally begged me to call the cops. Then he babbled on about the press and going to court.

I had enough so walked off and avoided him for the rest of the journey. When we finally pull into Manchester I can see him still sitting on the train. I bugger off far a quick fag before starting the return journey and I spot him marching towards me. Again he demands to be arrested but I just can’t be bothered with this so I tell him that I’ve spoken to the Station Manager and decided he can go. He turns and shouts to me that me and my company are a bunch of gutless wonders!!! Since when did I own a train company??

I’m left standing speechless when the station manager actually does come over. “Did you upset him or something?” he asks. I calmly take off my cap, hand him my ticket dispenser and change pouch, and said “*uck this. I quit!” Then I hopped onto a train and headed home.

No apologies for length, I never got one!
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 17:42, Reply)
Flymo flashback
I was a travelsickly child (still am occasionally though haven't done the old chuckyuppy in a decade or more). My parents, being understanding souls, consequently dragged me round the country at speed on a regular basis - I saw very little of the countryside but loads of the sky from my position flat on the back seat trying to pretend we weren't moving.

Came one Friday, I was about 10. Dad's been away all week on a works thing and, as it's school holidays, Mum drags me out on the trip to collect him. 40 miles later, I'm green in the back, attempting to look pleased at return of absent parent whilst simultaneously swallowing rising vom. Dad sees my pallor and decides to speed up in an attempt to get home more quickly - cue tiny child in back seat:

'Can we stop?'
Loud tut. 'No, I'm on a dual carriageway. Is it desperate?' Cheeks and eyes bulge dangerously in response.
'I can't stop' - he rolls down the automatic back window, I stick my head out and win awards for projectile vomiting for England...

...there was this guy mowing the grass verge. He had no chance.

I still wake up sometimes remembering his face as he saw us approaching.
(, Sat 9 Sep 2006, 21:42, Reply)
Calling this the worst journey in the world seems an exaggeration...
...but if you'd been there, you'd feel the pain.

On the return drive from Scotland to Wales, camping. Two people and three dogs in a small hatchback. In order to protect the fine Renault upholstery I'd lovingly tucked in a blanket for all three dogs to perch on on the back seat.

Motoring cheerfully down the main roads, past Gretna Green and onto the motorway. A sudden realisation steals over the two human occupants of the car (and probably the canine ones too, but who's to say?) that there is a nauseating smell so thick you could almost chew it. At least one of the dogs has passed wind. The kind of wind that surrounds its perpetrator in a greenish cloud. The driver and passenger exchange glances and open windows simultaneously. All is quiet for a while, until there is a kind of tearing noise and a whoopee cushion sound. There is a time lag of two seconds and then the front half of the car is enveloped in a smell so bad the driver swerves and the passenger scrabbles ineffectually at the window mechanism. One of the dogs has had an attack of explosive diarrhea.

Fucking, fucking motorways with no junctions for miles.

All three dogs are now panicking trying to crawl out of the way of both the cow pat on the seat and the wrath of their owners, and therefore spreading it over the parcel shelf and getting it into their fur.

Finally after a period of wide-eyed speeding down the fast lane we reach the Carlisle services. We screeched to a handbrake stop in the car park and jumped out of the car, followed by three guilty dogs sqeezing through the windows.

At this point I would like to apologise to Carlisle service staff.

Out comes the dribbly blanket. The offending dog is easily identifiable by the blast radius in the long butt fur. Cue twenty minutes cleaning the dog's butt hair using paper towels from the men's room and cups of water from the vending machine. Passers-by repeatedly witnessed one person holding the dog still whilst the other flung a cupful of water aimed squarely at the dog's rear end. I was torn between laughter and the urge to vomit.

We travelled the rest of the M6 in outraged silence with watering eyes.
(, Thu 14 Sep 2006, 12:48, Reply)
Worst Journey
Trying to insert a tampon on a train from Rotherham to someplace whilst the toilet door swung open to the busiest train you've ever seen.
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 14:01, Reply)
My parents
went to London on the 7th of July and all I got was a bloody t-shirt.
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 15:04, Reply)
Twas the days of slam doors….

Last train from waterloo (to pompey via surrey doncha kno')full of pissed biznizz people.
The train stopped in the middle of nowheres
A biznizz man woke up: ‘eh, what?’
Picked up his briefcase, brolly, jammed his hat on and unsteadily opened the door and stepped out.
There was a muffle and a thump.
A minute later, a hat was thrown in, then the brolly, then the briefcase…
Hands appeared and he hefted himself up, put his hat back on, picked up the brolly and briefcase, said ‘you must think me an awful fool’ and then stepped through the other door.
I pissed meself
(, Tue 12 Sep 2006, 16:37, Reply)
Repost!
No ticket.
After road tripping the US and Canada for a while, I decided that it was time to go back to Blighty. Thing was, I’d lost my Virgin Atlantic ticket from JFK to London. Both me and my folks at home spent many a long a weary hour on the phone trying to organise a replacement ticket from both ends of the Atlantic. No dice say bransons’ lot - I’d have to buy a new ticket, and get a refund for the old one. Fair enough, but I didn’t have the £1000 to get a new ticket.

Next best thing, get a cheap flight using a cheaper airline. Cheapest available? Pakistani international airlines.

By the time this lot get organised my visa has run out, so I’m now overstaying my welcome in the US. (If US immigration are reading, I’m making this part up) So, 2 weeks after my visa has run out, I turn up at JFK to board my PIA flight, this time to Manchester. I’m ok with that, I happen to live in Manchester with my girlfriend, so its all good. This ticket was bought online, an ‘e-ticket’ if you will, something flyers with easy jet are familiar with. During queuing, and feeling the whitest I’ve felt in my life, a little Pakistani lady comes up to me asking me to carry several items onto the plane for her. That’ll be a no then. She looks like I’ve slapped her in the face. So I get to the desk, the man asks for my ticket. “I’ve got an e-ticket!” say I. “I don’t know no e-ticket”. Bollocks.
Can you look me up? No. Piss off. You don’t have a ticket. Desk closes, plane takes off.

Pishflaps.


So, I’m in new york, with approx. $4.00 in my trousers and no way to get home, and in the country illegally. Goody! With nothing much else to do I decide to lag all my kit over to the virgin desk in another terminal to see if I can blag it.


I find it and talk to a girl called Lisa (I’ll never forget her, I swear) who after hearing my story looks at me and hand writes me a ticket (hand writes!) a ticket to London for me. And the fee? “It leaves in 30 minutes, run”


Honestly, I had tears in my eyes. I told her I loved her very loudly and ran.


The man at the checking didn’t look at my visa date, and I found my seat – the last empty one, right at the back – and flew to London.


I’d had 4 hours sleep in the past 3 days by this stage (good old road trips) so I was a little messed up. To get home I had to spend 8 hours in a national express coach to Manchester. I wasn’t feeling any better. My girlfriend meets me at the station, and I hug her, almost in tears. Then she informs me she wants to break up.

Good trip.
(, Mon 11 Sep 2006, 0:27, Reply)
Not my bad trip, but a little friend of mine..

Background:

I live in Perth, Aus, which is gorgeous but.. in our back garden we have found one lethal viper, two types of scorpion, three very venomous species of spider, and fairly (!) venomous centipede.

The sub aqua diving around here, however, is great.

So, I was getting kitted up for a night dive last week, in almost total darkness, when I put my foot into my left dive boot, something other than my toes wriggled.
It is astonishing how fast you can take an item of clothing back off, even one made of rubber.
I took a deep breath, and looked inside my boot to see a frightened little gecko peering back at me - I was so happy that it wasn’t a scorpion.

However, from the Gecko’s point of view:

My dive boot had last been out when I was diving in Thailand two weeks previously (yes, I am a lucky bastard), so this poor little lizard must have sneaked into my boot in Thailand, spent a very cold trip in the luggage hold, two weeks in a dive boot in a dive bag, had a size 10 foot pointed at him, only then to be stuffed into a sandwich box.
The next day I arranged to have him re-homed in a local reptile park, but he expired that morning. :(
That’s got to be worse than a slow train - you know where to click so that he can live forever!
(, Sun 10 Sep 2006, 7:37, Reply)
My Dad still won't talk about it...
... when I was a tiny lad in the early 80's my dad worked for the bank of England in London.

He commuted daily on the train and had a circle of travelling friends he chatted with.

One night I was vaguely aware he wasn't home yet when the phone goes. Cue much histeria from my mum.

Turns out it was a fireman who had a "dazed and shaken" man with him at side of the road who they'd just removed from the train crash and he had my dad's wallet so they'd phoned the number found within. He wasn't saying anything so they described him. Turns out it was my Dad.

So somewhat histerical my Mum drives us to the train station to collect the silent waking dead figure that my Dad had become, this is where we learnt of the rather nasty train crash that had occurred in Wembley which my Dad was in and had been knocked unconcious, only to wake up in the street.

Take him home put him to bed etc. He never went back to work, not even to clear his desk. My mum went and collected things and Dad became the manager of a bank a mile away and went to work by bike.

He still won't talk about it but I have learnt one of the horrors was his travelling companion died in the seat next to him by means of near decapitation.

Looking back I can now see evidence its bothered him for years, like taking me on a day trip to London as an early teenager I recall him being really uneasy/nervous about the 30 min journey into Euston.

I'd expect that was probably a pretty bad journey...
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 10:58, Reply)
Not exactly Ayia Napa...
We were living in Cyprus in July 1974 when the Turkish Army invaded. Fortunately, the jolly nice chaps at the RAF arranged for us to be evacuated, which sounds lovely until you realise some things;

1) It was technically a warzone and the evacuation was taking place in what is technically known as a military aircraft.

2) The seats on RAF transport planes face backwards towards the tail.

3) To prevent problems arising from point (1) the takeoff is near-vertical inducing some oh-so-hilarious misadventures thanks to point (2).

Cue an 8-hour flight on a vomit filled plane full of people mostly wearing swimwear most of them crying either through shock, fear or injury or because they had left behind everything they owned and in many cases their husbands/fathers.

Then arrive in Oxfordshire with nothing, not even the price of a cup of tea in English money and somehow try to get "home" whilst wearing beach clothes and a dark tan during what seemed like continual thunderstorms.

National Express? South-West Trains? Virgin CrossCountry? Don't make me laugh....
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 15:32, Reply)
His journey is still ongoing ...
Arrived at work this morning to observe traffic CHAOS. Walked into the office and discovered why:

At 4am someone was tanking it down the A40 outside our building in a silver Bimmer. No other traffic on the road he overcooks it. Armco, across carriageway to Gantry support and back over to Armco.

Wasn't wearing his seatbelt, so when he hit the gantry he was ejected through the windscreen. And BEHEADED on the beam.

Being the squeamish and respectful bloke that I am I ran to the roof of our building to get a good look. He managed to spread himself over quite a distance. Damn I wish I'd brought a camera to work - the one on my phone didn't cut it.

Normally, the Police would just tut-tut a few times and then pick him up with a sponge, hose it down and reopen the road.

Except they couldn't find his head!

So the road remained closed for 13 HOURS! It has only just re-opened. Re-united with his noggin (which we think made it a fair distance and into someone's front garden), the bloke is now continuing his journey at a much more sedate speed in a zip up plastic overcoat while his 2 passengers (who WERE belted up) are critically ill in hospital.

I think that counts as a Journey from Hell.
(, Sun 10 Sep 2006, 19:08, Reply)
Tube race horror
A while ago I was on the tube, sitting opposite a huge and quite scary-looking rastafarian. Everyone was just quietly reading their newspapers, when all of a sudden he screamed "did you just call me a fucking n*gger?" at the hapless suit sitting next to me. He stammered "no.. no i didn't, I really didn't..". The whole carriage froze, and the rasta just winked and said "only joking mate". He then laughed all the way to the next stop, where I got off (along with nearly everyone else).
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 10:15, Reply)
Not a bad journey for me, but everyone around me hated it
A few years back me and my mates decided to go and see Greenday in Manchester, and since nobody could be arsed driving we decided to get the train.

All was well until just near the end of the journey, when I, with out much provocation, did the longest loudest and smelliest fart of my entire life. And to make things even better, it spread quickly without losing its potency. This thing was so meaty that as it reached people, they started to chew before realising what it was. It was so bad that people at the other end of the carriage were asking who'd shat themselves, and one woman sat near us (who in my defence was already feeling travel sick) gipped into a shopping bag.

It was the worst journey ever as far everyone else was concerned, but theres nothing like the smell of your own brew, and nothing quite as funny as seeing someone be sick because of it. I've never been hated by so many people so quickly though.
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 14:57, Reply)
Midline mainland!
Anyone who's been on a midline mainland will tell you that the doors between the carrages only open when a button is pressed on the actual door itself, and that they like to close whenever they want to, and to hell with anything in their way.

I was going to Luton, on the Nottingham train. I couldn't find a seat, so I did what I normally do, open a door, stick my head in to see if there's a seat or not, and then go the other way.

Except this time.. the door closed. On my neck. Not a problem, I though, I'll just hit the button to open it... except this paticualr door now didn't want to budge. I try again. Nothing. By this time someone notices and tries to help me open the door. Nothing. Cue a few more people trying. Still nothing.

At this point I realsie something. The door is cutting into my neck rather hard, and thus I'm staring to become unconscious. The last thing I remember is someone going 'He doesn't look too good', before it all went black.

From what I was told, the passengers who tried to help me then pulled the emergancy stop chord, and eventaully I was freed not long after that. I woke up in an ambulence on the way to the hospital.

I did get compensated though! I now don't have to pay for my midline mainland trips for a year :)

NeoThermic
(, Wed 13 Sep 2006, 2:55, Reply)
Epic. I wished I was dead.
One Saturday afternoon in February this year, my mate J and and I were working our way through a couple of bottles of wine and lamenting the fact that we don't seem to have any crazy adventures anymore. So I said "I bet you wouldn't go to France right now!". This was a red rag to a pissed bull so we set off for France there and then which was Brighton at 9pm. We took Js campervan aka "the partybus" which only needed the battery changing (in the dark and pissed) and a couple of gallons of vegetable oil (instead of deisel). We made it to the channel tunnel for the midnight train via the Offie) and got some pretty funny looks from the police there but were allowed on. France Ho! We drove down the back roads to St Omer hoping to find some clubs - it was now about 3am and we were trolleyed. It all looks a bit bleak until we spot some flashing lights coming from a boat in the canal - it was a floating discotheque and still going. Bribery and half an hours persuasion got us into the club/boat where we got very trolleyed and had a great laugh with the locals until about 6am.

What's so bad about that?? The next bit. I wished I was dead.
Not wanting to sleep in the campervan in the centre of town, we headed off towards coutryside.
We saw a trail up to a few trees and thought we'd stop there untroubled for the night. Down the trail J drives the partybus onto a field to turn it around - it gets stuck. It was about 1 degree outside so after half an hour stumbling in the mud and dark trying to dig / push our way out we give up and sleep to sort it out the next day. 11am, the gas has run out in the night and we wake up shivering badly and we discover Js partner has helpfully taken all the food and even t-bags out of the van. We spent about an hour trying to dig the van out - me pushing it nearly collapsing with exhaustion - to no avail. We walked to the nearest village about two miles away - every (both) shop was closed, even the bar, it was completely deserted. Phoning the RAC was met with the blunt response that there was no European cover and if we wanted help it would be about 4 hours and £400 which we didn't have; their enquiry as to exactly where we were was met with "Err, we don't actually know". By this time, we are panicking big time, we are freezing cold, covered in mud and thirstily hungover. It is snowing. Horizontally. More attempts at the van get us 2 yards so it completely blocks the track (not that we've seen any motorists anywhere). We now discover that the wheels won't turn and there is the stench of a failing clutch and after all this revving we pretty low on fuel. At this point we start to suspect we are totally fucked - absolutely fucked with nothing to turn to. Our mobile phones have run out of batteries. After half an hour or so of abject despair a dodgy looking French bloke with a shotgun comes ambling up the track - of course we fear the worst as we are starting to get a little delirious. After a bit of tutting he points us over a hill saying there is farm! We trudge up to the farm with a glimmer of hope - explaining the problem and our subsequent absolute desperation, he disappears and re-appears with a tractor. He pulls us out and we head back to Calais BUT WAIT we can't find any open petrol stations we tried four (unstaffed) but they wouldn't take our English cards. Panic panic - head for the motorway, we keep winding down the window to get rid of the stink from the clutch (which we are praying won't give out) but we are shaking with cold. The back door of the van flies open and we lose a bunch of stuff and I nearly fall out trying to close it. J starts having a proper panic attack (flailing arm grabbing things and screaming) whilst driving in the snow, high wind and failing light on the wrong side of the road so we decide to stop few minutes to calm him down, at least to scream at him "I KNOW THERE'S NO FUCKING DEISEL BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING CLUTCH". On starting the van up again, we discover the electrics are gone. No indicators, no windscreen wipers. I want to die - it would be much easier than this. We try to carry on regardless but the snow was obscuring the windscreen and we nearly crashed into some cars that weren't looking for hand signals. So we spend an HOUR fixing the electrics (with a paper clip). Some time about know, Js partner is reporting us missing to the police and our parents (we are 27 and 30 - wtf?). We keep going for Calais with the fuel gauge on zero, below the red, fully expecting to die at any second. We made it somehow and joined the queue for the Channel Tunnel - very very relieved. But no! The French customs think we're drug nutters and search every square inch of the partybus and us. This takes two hours and we had to stand outside still shivering from the cold, covered in mud, stinking of booze and looking like scarecrows. Eventually we get clear of them by 20 yards only to be stopped by the English customs (on the French side). They just laughed at us a bit while we sobbed out some of the story. The trip back to Brighton was pretty much in silence, punctuated with a few little crying fits. We were both physically and emotionally at breaking point.

On getting back home my luck changed - I bagged the fittest shag ever in a nightclub. Js luck didn't change - his car got towed away and crushed for having no tax the next day.


Thankyou for your patience. I'm never going to France again.

*I don't condone drink driving. I only do it when I'm drunk. (Seriously though, I know it was fucking stupid.)
(, Tue 12 Sep 2006, 17:37, Reply)
Moscow to Tashkent - 3 days on a Russian train
Sounds fun, doesn't it? A jolly jaunt on a Russian train through the Steppe, down through massive Kazakhstan, and onwards through the deserts of Uzbekistan.
In my infinite wisdom, I didn't take any food with me, and decided to rely on the restaurant carriage on the train. So on the first evening I went to the restaurant car to get a nice bowl of borshch or something, and took a seat at a table together with the two English girls I was travelling with. We were the only ones in the restaurant car apart from the waiter and a rather scary-looking skinhead with staring eyes that suggested trouble. Never mind, we thought, we'll just avoid eye contact and all will be well.
But the skinhead said something to the waiter, and then the waiter came over and politely explained that he thought we should leave because the skinhead was a mentally ill soldier with a gun who had recently returned from a killing spree in Chechnya and had just told him he was going to kill us, and the waiter didn't think he was joking. So we didn't even get our borshch and had to beat a hasty retreat back to our compartment with empty stomachs. Oh well, an evening of vodka drinking instead then.
The following day I tried to go back to the restaurant car. Alas, some vandals (maybe the skinhead and his mates) had completely trashed it, and a sign had been put up saying the restaurant car was closed for the rest of the journey - still 2 days left to go! Bugger! What do we do for food now?
At the next stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I jumped out and found an old woman on the platform selling boiled eggs. "Salvation!" I thought. I'll get a load of boiled eggs in. So I bought about 20 off her. Got back onto the train and settled down to a few boiled eggs. Cracked the first one open and raw egg spilled all over me. Turns out I'd bought raw eggs, not boiled! Dammit! In desperation I even tried "boiling" them in hot (but not boiling) water from the carriage's hot water tank for making coffee and tea - but no joy, of course. So it was back to another day and night on the vodka on an increasingly empty stomach.
Shortly afterwards I started hallucinating due to starvation and excessive consumption of home brew vodka, but I do remember that things became dramatically less civilised in Kazakhstan (home of Borat) - at one station about 5000 peasants with sacks of agricultural produce boarded our carriage without tickets and squeezed into every last available space. We had random stinking peasants sleeping on the luggage racks above our bunks and under the seats for the rest of the journey. One of the Kazakh men engaged me in conversation in broken Russian and asked me how much my girls cost. "They're not for sale" I said. "Two camels!" was his response. "Look, I don't own these girls, they're not mine to sell!" No use. "OK, four camels!" he replied. And so it went on. By the end he was offering me vast numbers of camels for my increasingly alarmed companions, and I must admit I was just a little bit tempted.
Day 3 of the journey was a complete blank. But I'm reliably informed that I lost an arm wrestling contest to a Ukranian policeman and as a forfeit I had to drink vast quantities of yet more home brew vodka, and later was almost murdered by a gang of enraged Uzbeks and Kazakhs when I put a towel on my head and pretended to be an Arab and ran down the corridor shouting "Allahu Akbar!". Without doubt the longest, toughest, hungriest, scariest, most drunken journey of my life.
(, Sat 9 Sep 2006, 13:48, Reply)
My Father

recently bought one of them satellite nav thingies. The first time he used it when I was in the car with him was during a 60 mile trip, and he had it set to Anne Robinson's voice giving out the directions and may I state, for the record, SHE GETS RIGHT ON MY TITS, so as you can imagine listening to the ginger whinger pipe up every 30 seconds was not too enjoyable.

Anyway, after an hour of travelling we reached our destination but for the last few minutes he decided to change the voice to show me who else you can have directing you. Now when the Ossie Osbourne voice came on I thought, hang on, my father loves Black Sabbath so why didn't he have Ossie on from the start?

Me:"Why didn't you have Ossie navigating us here?"

Dad:"Are you kidding? have you never seen The Osbournes, he's as thick as pig shit, his directions would've taken us twice as long to get here"

Parents, gotta love 'em.
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 22:33, Reply)
MULTIMAP!
Instructed me and my boyfriend to go along *this* road:


It was also 4am in the morning because we didn't leave home until 11pm, snow was falling ( which covered all the road signs ) and there were no road lights. If we didn't go down a dip just before this bit and feel strangely uneasy and reverse back ( I'm so glad we *did* reverse: if we'd done a 3 point turn the car would have gone down the mountain ) we would have been a bit stuck. I think in the end we gave up trying to find the campsite at 4.30am and slept in a layby on the road which at 9am in daylight turned into a coach turning point for the tourist attraction nearby... they weren't happy with us as you can probably guess.

So if your new boyfriend suggests to go to the peak district, DON'T leave at 11pm at night when you live in Reading, DON'T use multimap that asks you to go down roads that were shut in 1979 and DON'T once you find the campsite in daylight insist that your boyfriend drive onto very deep mud in an ickle peugeot 106 then have to be pushed back off after 20 minutes by a group of laughing toff teenagers.

Probably not the worst journey in my life, but definately the most scary.

It was also the boyfriend's 21st birthday. And at the end of that day he brought a sword. So it didn't end up too bad.
more pics here arthmelow.fotopic.net/p13973948.html
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 17:48, Reply)
Nightmare de Glace
We camped in an igloo overnight, on the Valley Blanche. We had a big day the next day, the midi plan traverse and a descent via the Mer de Glace.

I woke up with a wet face. It wasn't raining. My face was leaking. I'd not applied the Glacier cream fastidiously enough the day before, and I'd got third degree burns. It was congealing, and my face, apart from my Panda eyes, looked like I'd superglued cornflakes all over it. Yellow crusty puss.
We woke at 4am. Set off at 6 am.
I couldn't apply glacier cream to my face, the cream was frozen and ripped my skin off. I had to climb with a balaclava on to avoid further skin damage. Occassionally, when I breathed through my nose (it was a full face balaclava, no mouth hole), my glasses steamed up and I had to stop. The Balaclava, stuck to my face with puss, ripped new sores everytime I took it off.
We got to the Mer de Glace about 3pm. It's a 'dry' glacier meaning you can see the cravases, often hundreds of feet deep. There is a path waymarked with oildrums and flags, but as the whole place is in flux, they move.
We picked our way down, jumping across cravasses with 30kg packs on, ice axes flailing, crampons kicking out in front.
My dad started crying. He wanted to stop and sleep. We made it out, and down, just before nightfall. 14 hours. I pulled my face off for the last time.
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 15:58, Reply)
driving to london down the M1.
in a battered old beige metro, when i start to slowly overtake a wooden framed morris traveller driven by a pensioner with i presumed his wife in the passenger seat, doing about 45mph.

Not having much more power and going up a long hill, this takes some time, and as i'm just about level with them, something in their drivechain siezes solid and their car stops literally dead in the slow lane. Unfortunately the lorry tailgating them doesnt, and goes practically through the car, crushing it to matchwood, inches away from my car, showering it in bits of debris.

I pull over, and have to hang around for the next few hours while the Fire Brigade retrieve the bodies, the Police take statements and I'm treated for shock.

Fortunately, the Fire Brigade hosed down the side of my car to remove the bits of pensioner adhered to it...

Yeah, that was a shit journey, but not as shit as theirs...
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 12:48, Reply)
My Christmas Adventure!
Last Christmas, I went skiing with my family in Banff, Canada, where I was fortunate enough to have a REAL GENUINE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE.

It was Christmas eve, and I was skiing on my own without a pre-planned route. Opting to take a piste marked 'To Base Station,' I found myself on a very long, thin and flat winding path which, as time went by, started to look more and more like an actual road. After 10 minutes of skiing I glided into a car park. Aside from a handful of empty vehicles and a painfully useless map of the Canadian wilderness, there was no sign of the base station I had intended on reaching. The path back up the mountain was extremely long, (not to mention steep), and the only other means of escape was a snow-covered tarmac road, stretching off into the valley's thick forest. So, I took of my skis, and started walking.

It wasn't long before I encountered another human being - an American gentleman, who came skiing down the mountain behind me. After a brief exchange of words we established that we had both made the same mistake, and were equally bemused regarding the route back home. So we walked on.

Roughly ten minutes later, we saw a car at the side of the road up ahead. As we drew nearer, we saw a middle-aged woman and her young daughter, digging snow out from under the wheels. We chatted. She had pulled over to read a map, and had become stuck in the snowdrift. Naturally, I offered to help. After an annoyingly long time of digging, pushing and wheel-spinning, the vehicle was finally freed. She made an offer of a lift to myself and my travelling companion, informing us that the base station was roughly ten minutes' drive down the road in the direction we had been heading. Happy with this news, we politely declined, opting instead to put our skis back on and go cross-country for the remainder of the trip.

What the kind lady had failed to tell us was that the road slowly began to steepen up ahead. Soon we were scrabbling our way up the icy slope with our skis over our shoulders. Ten minutes of this... and then the SCARY bit happened.

We heard a grunt. An animal of some sort, in the woods to the side of the road. My companion nervously informed me that this was, in fact, the sort of territory in which wild bears were quite common. Exhausted and paranoid, we chose to stop; hiding by the snow piles at the side of the road. But then we saw something move in the trees. Something brown. And hairy. We didn't look at each other, nor did either of us make a sound, but the tension was thick in the air.

It happened quickly, but not startlingly; three wild elk strolled quietly out of the forest, crossed the road, and disappeared through the trees on the other side. After a few moments, we stood and continued our journey onward in perfect silence.

Time passed. Lots of it. And then we reached a freeway. The frustration of encountering this obstacle was plenty enough to break the silence, and as we trudged achingly slowly through the brown sludge by the barrier alongside, we exchanged semi-witty comments about the American lady's intructions. But neither of us said a single thing about the elks.

Rougly an hour and a half after taking the wrong turn back up on the piste, the base station was in sight. With a new-found quickness we entered the car park, and approached the main lodge. I turned to bid a final farewell to my companion, but - and this is the bit of the story which I believe makes it a REAL GENUINE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE - when I turned around...

HE WAS GONE.

This story is 100% of fact. I will happily swear on everyone and everything that I know and love that every single word of this tale is true. And with it's haunting memories still burned into my conscious I fell asleep that night, to awake the next morning on a beautiful, snowy christmas day.



No apologies for length. I am soon to be starting a creative writing course, so this is all good practice for me.
(, Fri 8 Sep 2006, 0:40, Reply)
Tramp tales
Somewhere in my brain I have developed an unbreakable association between trains and half-term seaside jaunts. Thus, even if the reason I'm on the train is because I'm commuting, it still feels like I'm on the way to Margate and I have the according sunny disposition, and natter merrily to my fellow passengers.

One day (a commuting one, not an actual seaside one) a tramp sat next to me on the train. Not a "homeless person", a proper tramp, complete with stubble, stained newspaper-filled pants and the unmistakable eau de toilette. I've always tried not to judge books by their covers; how rude it would be to relocate just because of a bit of a smell of urine, so I stayed put. He grunted and belched White Lightning fumes at me, I talked back to him; all was well.

Until the ticket collector came. I perkily flashed my season ticket in its little plastic holder; the tramp belched and pointed in my direction.

"She's got mine"

"Oh gosh, no sir, you must be mistaken!" I trilled. The tramp got angrier and started to flail drunkenly about, grabbing at my bag, waving his fists at the ticket man and all the time insisting I definitely had his ticket. I got more and more distressed in my pathetic girly way, and the ticket collector tried to calm the tramp and explain that, just this time, he was more inclined to believe the overly-polite office lady rather than the Special-Brew-scented hobo. (Which no doubt is the sort of prejudice these people have to face every day).

In the end the ticket collector fetched some nice bloke he knew that happened to be on the train and I hid in another carriage with him whilst the ticket guy dealt with enraged tramp. This experience taught me two things:
1) I'm crap in a crisis, even an extremely minor one and
2) If a book's cover is soaked in piss and Special Brew, sometimes it's OK to judge it
(, Wed 13 Sep 2006, 15:17, Reply)
Bastard Multimap
Myself and my boss were due to attend a meeting in Croydon. Neither of us had ever been there before and had no idea where the building was so, deciding to avail myself of the infinite knowledge stored on the internet, I tapped a couple of postcodes into Multimap and we had our directions.

Sadly, neither of us are able to drive so we had to figure out the public transport route.

After getting a train into London, I met up with my boss and we boarded the train that was heading towards Croydon. After ten minutes, the train stopped. And sat there. Then, after a few minutes of silence, it sat there some more. Eventually, the driver announced that we were being delayed because of a fatality on the track several miles away which was backing up all the trains.

Eventually, the train wheezed, juddered and started to move. However, we had to get off a stop earlier then anticipated, then wait for another train to take us just that little further. We were at a Croydon station, but not the Croydon station we required.

The train arrived, we got on, travelled one stop and got off again. We walked outside, whereupon I removed a small map that I'd printed off from the magical internet and the lovely, lovely autoroute.

Thus began a walk which looked like about ten minutes on paper, but actually took us 45 minutes. It was also uphill. All of it. The day was unpleasantly warm and we both had suits on. After fifteen minutes, we had our jackets slung over our shoulders, and my hair was plastered to my head with perspiration.

Eventually, we arrived at an area which we thought was probably correct, although the actual road we required didn't seem to exist. After some careful checking, we realised that we'd walked too far and had to go back down the road half a mile. More checking of the map, mopping of the forehead, and general cursing ensued.

Finally, we found ourselves standing on the exact spot that the little arrow on the map was pointing to. It was an odd building and not what we were expecting. It looked more like a hospital than an office building. At that moment, a care assistant walked out of a door holding a man by the arm who was, shall we say, a little 'uncomplicated'. We appeared to be standing outside a care home for the mentally challenged.

I wanted to cry and, for the briefest moment, I saw the watery shimmer of tears in my boss's eyes. A taxi driver who was waiting to collect someone told us that we were miles from our destination and when I proffered the map so that he might tell us where we could find the building, he merely chortled and said, "It's not even on that map. That's how far away you are."

We walked back to the train station, sweaty, tired and developing a mutual hatred of each other. Ironically, this particular part of Croydon appeared to have been designed by MC Escher as we had walked from the station to the middle of nowhere and back to the station, and THE ENTIRE FUCKING JOURNEY HAD BEEN UPHILL.

We arrived back at the station. The next couple of trains were delayed. We phoned a taxi. When we got in and announced our destination, the taxi driver nodded in a non-committal way and drove us away. Five minutes into the journey he admitted that he had no idea where he was taking us...

We arrived, finally, at the meeting, 2 hours late. The people at the meeting hated us on sight because we were there to add more work to their already hectic schedules.

When we left the building, it transpired that the station we had got off at about an hour and a half previously was a 3-minute walk away.

We have never been back since. Fucking multimap.
(, Sat 9 Sep 2006, 22:56, Reply)
European wind
During a tour of europe a few years ago I ate a bad pizza in Paris that inflicted me with gut cramps in Prague, eruptions in Vienna that are best left undescribed, followed by the most amazing wind in Munich. After running to the Gents in an Augsberg eatery to release said wind, it was with embarrassment that I learned the Gents window faced the outdoor courtyard that was filled with happy German diners. After my non-silent expellation of volumes of gas that would have floated the Hindenburgh, I heard an elderly gentleman in the courtyard exclaim 'Gott im Himmel!'.

Edit: a few months later, my wife and I were watching the film 'Titanic' on TV and during the scene where the Titanic is going down amidst the sounds of metal tearing and compartments collapsing, she looks over to me and says 'That sound makes me think of your incident in Augsburg' with a look of disgust...
(, Sat 9 Sep 2006, 9:11, Reply)
Bus ride to Hell, twinned with Bournemouth
I've flown Air Afrique, and have been roughed up in many, many exotic places. However, for sheer blood-letting misery, it was a British Rail replacement bus service from Reading to Bournemouth, non-stop.

The first and only thing the coach driver said over the loudspeaker system was: "Right. Bournemouth. An' while we're at it, I'll be givin' you lot a musical h'education."

He then cranked the stereo up to eleven, and let us have 'The Best Fucking Awful Country and Western, Daniel O'Donnell and All That Other Shit You Can Only Get Off Market Stalls Album in the World... EVER!' for three hellish hours.

Our own headphones offered no respite, and complaints to the driver where met with pointed reference to the 'Do Not Speak to the Driver' sign, so we huddled together for warmth and companionship and dared to hope that it might end soon.

The support group meets every Tuesday.
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 14:46, Reply)
turd on the tube
A few months back someone had let their dog do a massive and heinously stinky turd at the bottom of the escalators at Highbury and Islington tube. Thankfully managed to avoid it myself, but the guy in front, the guy who skidded for a good three feet in it, did the whirly-arms thing to stop falling over, and then had to get on a tube in the sweltering heat, in an enclosed space, stinking of dogshit, with everyone else in the carraige hating him... that guy had the worst journey ever. Bar none.
(, Thu 7 Sep 2006, 13:32, Reply)
Shame,
A friend of a friend had been involved in a car accident in which his fiance had died. fast forward a month and 6 friends (including friend of friend who is driving) are all going on a little road trip to Edinburgh for the comedy festival. Just as we get in the car he mentions that it's the first time he's driven since the accident. So what do I say?

"Whoah- hands up if you don't want to drive with the murderer!"

I'm such a cunt. Suffice to say the journey was UNBEARABLE and I have never spoken to him again.

{Compare story/penis length to journey length here}
(, Tue 12 Sep 2006, 18:14, Reply)
Crosscountry
A few years ago I had just finished at a function. Without going into the details, I was left without any form of transportation besides my two pins...

Anyhow, home was approx. 8 km away as the crow flies with some really tough patches right in the middle (which I was totally unaware of at the time). Throughout this story, just bear in mind that I'm in a dress suit and shoes.

I set out, and left town to strike straight across the paddocks for home. All is good going for the first half of the trip, as I put my head down and jog leisurely across people's properties. The ground wasn't too bad either and I could see my house at the top of the foothills to which I was heading.

After coming to the crest of a hill I noticed that the ground seemed to disappear about 400 metres ahead of me. Nonplussed, I proceeded further and came to the top of what at the time seemed to be a monstrous cliff.

Though it was quite overgrown with trees, blackberries, and quite muddy, I managed to get to the bottom without any major mishaps. It was just hella scary. ;)

Next up was a nice flat paddock, though somewhat marshy and wet. Crossing that I noticed a tree line and heard the familiar trickle of running water. Groaning inwardly, I hopped over a fence and came to the creek.

By this time I was getting sick of the whole thing and I couldn't be bothered looking for a better place to cross. The creek was deceptively small in width (probably 8 feet wide, I thought it was 6). Going back to the fence line I prepped for a jump...

It wasn't until I was in the air that I realised I was going to land a foot away from the bank. Instantly my lower half was completely drenched and muddied. Jumping up the steep bank I decided to get home as quick as possible. It was getting very cold!

Little was I to know I was in for one more shock. Literally. Jogging across the next couple of paddocks I came to what seemed to be a very complicated electric fence (I had come across others already but this one seemed to have two extra live wires on either side and jutting out from the fence itself).

Not bearing in mind that I was dripping wet, I hoisted myself up and STOOD on the live wires. The moment my wet dress shoes touched the wire I flung myself up and over with the shock and fell on the ground with my leg trembling from the jolt that had just passed through it.

Getting straight up I headed for the next few barbed wire fences, got through them with no problem, and got on the uphill home stretch (another three Ks of one more tiny creek crossing, two extremely steep hills, and a valley crossing). I got home feeling exhausted, chilled, shocked, and VERY dirty. Nothing a shower didn't fix, though my mother was less than happy with the state of my clothes...

If you don't like the length, don't read it!
(, Mon 11 Sep 2006, 2:42, Reply)

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