Monday, June 4, 2007

Just like a real city - but crap

Sometimes I love this city. But then it reminds me how completely fucked up it is. And, well, it disappoints me. Because one day, it’ll be like the rest of civilisation. But for now, it will fester in its own sad status, locked decades behind the rest of the universe. It was illustrated to me today when I was on the train home.

I work next to a railway station, so I catch a train home, to a small station just north of the city, then I get a bus the final leg home. The 4.10pm train I catch from work is, conveniently, one of the few that go direct to the little station, so I don’t have to change in the city. For completely unknown reasons though, about once a week, the train decides to skip several small stations. It changes to an express service, despite announcements all the way along the trip saying “This is an all stations train to Ferny Grove”. With no announcement, it will just skip 5 stations.

What really amazes me though is that the rail staff have the attitude that it’s the passengers’ fault. We’re on the wrong train. Sure, most days it’s the right train. Sure, the announcements on the train for the previous hour have said it’s the right train. But no, it’s our fault for being on the wrong train. In fact, at the station where I had to wait 40 minutes for a train to return me to where I was going, the staff there told me No, they didn’t have a phone number to ring about complaints.

See, in Jerusalem, the people almost expect this. They’ve not lived in a place where such ridiculously poor customer-service attitudes are not normal. So they don’t even realise how screwed up things are here. They think it’s normal.

As I said above, one day, it’ll be a decent civilised place. I just don’t have the patience to wait 20 years.


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