I vowed when I left Paris to do my best not to compare and complain about the differences between life in France and in the U.S. Each has its highs and lows, pluses and minuses. I try to just go about my day being all Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and make the most of whatever side of the Atlantic I am on.
And then. Sometimes, I am gobsmacked. And I have to express my, er, astonishment.
Next week I have to go to our nation's capital and decided to hop on a train instead of battling the beltway. It's additionally a romantic notion because the train runs by my field, wailing its whistle at the crossing down the road. Makes my heart soar every time I hear it. So why not take the train? Why not, indeed.
The distance between here and Washington DC is about the same as the distance between Tours and Paris, about 2hours 20 minutes by car. I bought my ticket for "The Cardinal," with the scheduled time of 2 hours and 50 minutes station to station.
Okay, I can deal with that. Much as I lament it, I know that the US has no equivalent to the TGV, which can whisk passengers from Tours to Paris in just over one hour.
But when I was picking up my ticket at the station the kind agent warned me (after I had paid), "Be sure to call this 800 number before you head to the station. The train is always late. Could be 15 minutes, could be three hours late, but it's always late."
(Sound of Polly gnashing her teeth.)