My first class in first class
January 15, 2012, 5:49 pm
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I’m on a train to Devon for five days work experience on the Western Morning News.  I thought I would post a blog as I am feeling very proud to be sitting in first class (cheap deal ont internet is making me fantasize about being very rich).

You get free tea and biscuits and a power plug so I have been sitting at my train desk in my padded leather chair pretending to be important and trying not to spill my free tea.

Unfortunately I don’t really look the part as I have bed hair, mismatch clothes and hangover face.  I also made quite an entrance as I didn’t leave in time to make it for the train but by some miracle it was delayed by 15 minutes. (I have made an oath never to be angry at a delayed train again – but I am sure that’s a fickle plea).  Thankfully my wondrous boyfriend accompanied me across London so we could attempt a sprint with a suitcase (or he could).  When I got on the train I was puffed and flustered and experienced a delayed shock panic attack and then nearly cried.  I was about to text my Mum to say maybe there is  a God but I didn’t want to get her over-excited so restrained myself.  I now forgive my sister for getting me some pants that said ‘Drama Queen’ when I was about 14 and I got in a strop. – It appears I can be violently dramatic on extreme situation + hangover.

Anyway, I am calmer now.  I realised first class accommodation makes me very naive in terms of stereotypes.  I have been sitting next to a very well-to-do 60 something couple who used hand-san without the occasion of food (maybe they didn’t like the look of me).  I assumed they must be very rich and probably a Lord and Lady and was tempted to say ‘Oh War Horse – it’s spectacular’ in a posh voice on seeing their theatre programme and maybe comment on the stunning sunset.  Instead, we just exchanged some polite smiles and watched each other’s newspapers and bags while we went to get our free refreshments.  They probably weren’t a Lord and Lady because they were naughty people who didn’t have first class tickets at all.  They got in trouble but they said they couldn’t walk down the train with suitcases as they were pensioners.  They had to pay a top-up cost – probably the amount I paid for my ticket on top of theirs.

When they got off the train, we did that thing where you say ‘Bye’ even though you haven’t even spoken.  That happened to my friends and me the other day actually in a pub.  We sat in the garden for about an hour and all a man said was ‘Do you mind if I smoke?’ and we said ‘No’ and then he did the bye thing when he left about an hour later.  But then again, I suppose it is quite nice and friendly but I want to know what the rules are for the bye thing…how many words have to be exchanged or how much time spent together?  When exactly does too much time elapse to for it to become awkward to start a public transport conversation?

So yeah, another thing that the first class accommodation made me do is just leave my bag and laptop unattended (admittedly at the hands of the well-to-do couple – but then they were sitting in first class without a ticket!)  I would never do this in the normal train area with the snotty kids and the starey drunk man so why should I assume posh people will look after my valuables?  It was fine, thankfully, but how silly.  After all, on my trip to the ‘buffet’ I chuckled with a fellow passenger (male/20 something) about how exciting it was to get a free drink etc and he had also got a cheap internet ticket.  Maybe everyone had.  Maybe Mr and Mrs hand-san should have known about the deal.  Maybe no one is actually posh or rich and is pretending to be like me.

Another benefit that first class boasts, apparently, is ‘better air.’  That’s what I just eavesdropped from a large woman wearing a hair bow, long velvet dress and A LOT of makeup.  She’s come into this carriage and told her friend that the air is better in here.  ‘Fresher and cleaner.’

It’s great how much eavesdropping and people-watching can keep you entertained on journeys and public transport.  I’m glad I didn’t book the silent carriage.


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[…] wrote about my first experience of first class on my way to Devon, and now I am on the train on the way back, in standard […]

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