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Dorisに翻弄されて:大嵐ドリスとの一日

2017.02.24
スクリーンショット 2017-02-24 18.42.09
(キングス・クロス駅、2017年2月23日)

 2017年2月23日、イギリスは、「ドリス」と名付けられた大嵐に翻弄された。日本語でも書こうかとは思ったのだが、時間切れ。大したことを書いている訳ではないので、時間のある時にどうぞ。

I am sure all of you who live in the UK for the moment had your own experience by the Storm Doris on 23rd of Feb. I had too and, frankly, pretty frustrating but at the end of the day, Doris brought me a wonderful surprise which compensated my day.

Photos through the day
https://www.flickr.com/photos/89578620@N00/albums/72157677245541643

Because an interesting meeting was planned at hospital where I work, I needed to go somewhere in Herts. On the way to King's Cross Station, the weather looked good and I thought Doris had already gone to the continent.
At King's Cross, some trains, in particular to go to Leeds, were already cancelled, but a train I was going to catch would depart on time and it did. I felt convinced that my day would go without any problem. I was wrong. The train stopped for 30 or 35 minutes at a station. When I arrived at the hospital, the meeting was nearly over.

Then, I was asked to join another meeting which I did not expect. Although the meeting was taken place in at another place (10 minutes walk from the hospital), I was happy to join them. It was quite an interesting one and I learned something new. Then, we left the place and we found there were some trees fell down by the high wind caused by Doris and the road was sealed off by police. Luckily, we were allowed to walk back to the hospital.

When we got back, I needed to talk to my supervisor. As always, it was good to receive thoughtful advice, but I was also thinking about going back to London earlier rather staying there till late.

So, I was running to the station and more or less 30 people were there. I must say that the facility of the station is absolutely poor and user-unfriendly, no cozy waiting space for commuters. It was heiling, raining, sun shining and rainbow, and freezing. Doris was absolutely cruel for us.

Finally, a train arrived from Cambridge and it took me over an hour and a half to get back to King's Cross. At my arrival, I took some photos of anxious passenger and sent them to my friend (E) who commutes from the town to London. She immediately sent me a text that she was drinking at a pub above the station with her husband (N).

Last time I met them was more than a year ago, so it would be nice to say hello to both of them. I was heading to the pub. In front of the pub, a guy was standing as a floor manager and it was him (S) with whom I lost contact nearly 5 years. Jaw dropped, we just looked at each other for a second and hugged each other.

E was coming to me and asked me if I would know of S who, according to E, N and she met as his regular customers some time ago. So, if Doris had not hit the UK, I might not have met my friends all together.

At their table, when E and I started to enjoy blaming the ill-equipped train network in the UK, N said to us, [Please don't tell me how wonderful the Japanese train system is. I know that and I don't want to hear about it now].

However, my blessed day by Doris did have another twist. The underground station was closed and I could not get a taxi, or buses. I decided to walk to Euston and finally got on a bus which was overcrowded. At Great Portland Station, two men started shouting at each other and the driver terminated the bus. So, I walked home.

I know many people had much worse experiences than mine. What I do hope since then is that the train system in the UK should be improved with no excuses.

Have a great weekend.


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