Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tickets. Tickets please.

This morning on the train, I got on stood in the standing room, instead of taking a seat - because I only go one stop to Schiphol. I looked to my right and saw two conductors. Suddenly I realized that my monthly pass is expired. I should have bought a new one yesterday, but it slipped my mind. Then two more conductors get on. Beginning October 1, anyone caught on the train without a ticket will be fined 35 euros. The announce it in Dutch and in English every morning on the train.

I moved towards the door, only to have it close on me. One of the conductors looked at me and said, "This is WTC." I was stunned. I didn't know what to do. Should I tell him that I am carrying an expired card and that I had just realized it and was about to step out to buy a one day card? Should I move into the next car and try to find a bathroom so that I can ride in it all the way to Schiphol? (I've done it before.) Should I just bluff and act like a commuter?

"Where are you going, sir?" he asked me.

I removed my headphones. "Schiphol."

"That's the next stop."


The four conductors sat and talked to each other all the way to Schiphol. I hate stuff like that. I'm such a bad liar. And there's really no telling with these guys if they're going to fan out and punch tickets, or sit and talk about nothing.

I'll buy a ticket before I get on the train today.

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