Friday, November 30, 2007

Hunsatisfactory Service

Well I finally arrived in Uherske Hradiste for the wedding. No thanks to Deutsche Bahn. Quite why I was persuaded to take the train, rather than my Lear jet, lord knows. Oh yes, that's right, I had to flog the Lear due to a temporary financial, er, hiccup.

Anyone who complains about the railways in Blighty should try German and Czech chuffers. Talk about ein koch-up! Wrong trains arriving at the right platform. Right trains arriving at the wrong platform. And my luxury compartment with ensuite for the Brussels-Berlin overnight didn't arrive at all! So I was accommodated in a wardrobe that would have made Tom Thumb claustrophobic. And instead of a shower and WC, there was a washbasin which would have given a finger bowl delusions of Olympic swimming pool grandeur. You'll be pleased to hear, though, that even given these restraints I did not resort to the English manner of relieving myself when nature called at 4am.

My previously shiny opinion of German railway efficiency must have been gleaned from documentaries about the pre-war period, when that twat with the toothbrush 'tache was in charge, and everything ran like clockwork. Not that the Czech railways are any better. Chock full, slow and filthy. Even their shiny, new, super-duper Italian Pendolinos were delivered with a software fault which means they have to stop at every other station for a CD upload. Not for nothing does Fiat stand for Fix It Again Tony.

Never mind, the hotel's very, um, hygienic...

And it's been snowing!


Anonymous said...

Well said ECR

In 89 I contracted on a paper mill installation in Birmingham. This project, something to do with EU, was installed by a Germanic Company let us call it Semens. And they were installaing to their European Germanic standards.

I won the lodgings landlady's long service award ! No double entendre. I stayed on site for three weeks. This was because I was earning a grand a week.

But their electrical installation standards are shite comnpared to ours. Fireprooof barrier ? Vos is das etc. Gland plates ? Nein. Armoured cable ? Nein. Earthing (Donner und blitzen vos ist das)

The Germanics on site recekoned themselves as workers too.

I suggested they try saying "Job n knock" to the English lads on site. Then they learnt why we won the war .... our lads had done double their amount of work to a better standard and p-ssed off at lunchtime. "That was amazing", says the Herr Boss, "What's the catch?"

"You still got to give them twelve hours pay" (do they understand nothing these Europeans ?)

I had worked with a Welsh gang from the Maesteg area at port Talbot steelworks and if the magic word "Jobber" was used (IE Go home as soon as you have finished the allocated 12 hours double time work)those Taffs from that Viking area of Wales (whoops) could leave any Germany lads for standing. Mind you without the magic incentive the Welsh lads were wont to move, quite rightly, to first gear.

"We don't have work ethic see, we have reward motivation. We all Thatcherites now". (more pay more play)

Anonymous said...

Rather cynical outlook, don't you think?
My experience of Germans is that they'll work steadily towards a goal, rather than stop when they've earned enough money to go to the pub, with enough left over to pay the bills.
Maybe, anonymous of 4.44 (two turds of the Divel, as they'd say in Ireland) you should explore the difference between 'ethics' and 'ethical'.
Now there would be a 'gulf war' worth fighting!

Mystic Meg said...

Thanks to our intrepid foreign correspondent for his lively and interesting report - beats the usual twaddle in our local rag any day - if only more people would travel by train to Eastern Europe I'm sure we could soon fill Ramsgate's beaches and boarding houses again. Enjoy the wedding!

Lucy Mail said...

Don't really think it's fair to be picking on the Germans on a humorous blog, as they'd have no way of defending themselves.

Quite cowardly, I'd say!

Lucy Mail said...

Oh, btw, do I get to go back on your 'A List' for my hols.?

Major Shecuritee-Holle (Rtd.) said...

Well if the German have no way of defending themselves they've only themselves to blames.

What they need is a bigger army and a flex of the might inherent in that, say invading neighbouring countries.

Everyone would respect them much for such an act.

Lucy Mail said...

I think that a few Poles should be taken to determine that.
And I feel I should add, from recent experience, that pointing a gun at someone does not constitute a sense of humour unless you happen to be holding it the wrong way round.
None the less, our weapons trainer didn't laugh. In fact, he seemed quite angry!