Deutsche Bahn – better late than never

Germans are generally known for their punctuality. Always and everywhere, but with this one little exception – Deutsche Bahn. I bet there isn’t a single person in Germany who hasn’t experienced the infamous Deutsche Bahn delays. Using the German Railways is the only sure way to be fashionably late anywhere you go. I was very surprised to see that trains and public transport, in general, are such popular options to travel here. In Bulgaria, the average person would use a car to get anywhere. Riding the train is a once-in-a-decade experience, just for the sake of good old times. But since I moved to Germany it became evident to me that it is a country „on tracks“.

I’ve had my fair share of traveling by train here since I don’t live in the city where I’m studying, hence I have to commute every time I go to class. This is not so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I have to change trains so I could reach the final destination. That is the point where the actual game of nerves and predictions starts. There are a few possible scenarios, in which you can always find positives, so I’ll try my best to explain them.

  • First case scenario: The first train is late – this always helps me get in my much-needed cardio exercise. As I run along the platforms in a desperate attempt to catch my connection I can already feel my blood flowing, my heart hitting 170 bps. This is a health benefit on its own. If the train is caught you get that rewarding feeling of victory. If it isn’t – well, at least you had a chance to train running with hurdles, as every bigger train station is always flooded with people, animals, luggage, and whatnot.
  • Second case scenario: The first train is on time, but oh you guessed it! – the second one is late. This leaves you stuck at the train station for anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours. This is great for training your patience, as well as discovering new ways to entertain yourself while freezing or trying to avoid a heat stroke.

  • Third case scenario – both trains are late. This is a good one to train your psychic abilities. Will both trains be delayed by the same amount of time, so you can still catch your connection? Or will the first one be so late, that you conveniently catch the next one? Perhaps the second one will be so late, so you have the time to treat yourself to a 6-course meal and check out every single store at the train station? You never know, but you can always place bets in your head.
  • Fourth case scenario – both trains are on time, and you catch your connection flawlessly. You arrive at your desired station, only 2 hours early, because you always plan a couple of hours tolerance, so you can actually arrive on time. This improves simple math – if my trip is supposed to take 2 hours, I’ll leave 4 hours before. If my trip is supposed to take 3 hours, I’ll leave 5 hours in advance. So if a wonder happens, and you actually experience no delays, you’re left with what I call „time for myself“, where you again have to entertain yourself for a couple of hours until it’s time for you to appear where you have to be.
  • Fifth case scenario – one of your trains is completely canceled. Helps with improving anger issues, but can also cause trust issues. In such cases, one also improves his „out of the box“ thinking, as you are obliged to figure out an alternative way of transporting yourself from A to B.
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