If James Brown isn’t your cuppa tea, take a listen to the Sister Act 2 version. If you aren’t dancing/bobbing your head/singing along like a fool, you might want to why your life has become so miserable and glum. Why not take an unexpected trip, per say?
If the US was half as accessible as Europe, Americans would be much happier with their lives. If you could get on a train, travel to a major city or wished-for site in a mere hour or so, there would be less of a need to “escape” on vacation or tour abroad. Yes, most people have cars to get them from place to place; and yes, there are buses that travel to each city. However, the tickets are quite pricey on a low budget, with a round trip costing at least $50, if not more; on the other side, gas (petrol, in Europe) is constantly rising, forcing college kids to choose between filling up on food or fuel. Granted, neither Ithaca nor Scranton are large cities, so I have never had the luxury of using the Metro, Subway, or T that run along the East Coast. However, in Edinburgh, I have discovered the magical trains system that beats out all of these options. I wish I could bring them back with me.
The train station can be a daunting thing: people are positively sprinting to their connecting trains and the board is spinning madly with changing times. However, getting tickets are a piece of kidney pie. Plus, train tickets can be as cheap as seven pounds one way! While this is not first class, it doesn’t need to be. The standard seating is perfectly clean with enough space to stretch your legs and write on the computer. You can even pick the window or aisle seat, if you want internet access, and if you need a plug! Absolute heaven for a person who constantly reads novels online. If that wasn’t enough, the train basically lulls even the tensest person to sleep, performing a miracle in its own right.
But most of all, I love the fact that I can hop on a train and be in a new city within 50 minutes. Today, while eating lunch with no specific plan in mind, my housemate Carolyn and I decided that we wanted to go out on the town. We were both finished with class for the day, and the weather outside was 60 degrees and sunny – hardly the normal weather for Scotland- so we had to take advantage of it. As we were walking out the door to go to a museum, Carolyn’s friend phoned her to say he would be in Glasgow for dinner. She looked at me, and in that one glance, we decided… why not? Glasgow is only a train stop away! We would be there by 6PM, just in time for tea.
By the time Carolyn and I finished talk about her friends, the train ride was over and Glasgow awaited us. If you don’t know anything about the city, it has some of the best music and shopping in Scotland. Definitely a place you will want to hit up when in Britain! However, it was the fact that we were there in so short of a time that amazed me, even more than the industrial skyscrapers and beautifully lit streets. Maybe it is the small town girl in me, but I don’t think I will quite ever get used to traveling like this. I think this is as close to apparating as I can get.