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Big thanks to yesterday's text buddies

By the way, while I'm posting, may I also extend my thanks to all the kind people who responded to my pleas for entertainment yesterday, and sent me cheery texts while I was stuck on the M25 - you all made me chuckle, and helped the time to go by just that little bit faster. I think my favourite offering came from edling who first asked:

'What goes clip-clop, clip-clop, bang?'

And then on further querying revealed that the answer was 'An Amish drive-by'.

In the end, we were stuck in solid traffic for 1.5 hours, and then spent another half hour slowly crawling past the site of the accident (a car turned onto its roof) on the hard shoulder and outside lane. The result was that I got back to Oxford 2 hours later than I'd hoped, which was a pain in the butt.

It was nice to see how all the people in the jam started striking up impromptu friendships in the midst of it all, though. People were getting out of their cars, chatting to one another, walking up through the traffic to see what was going on and reporting back to others as they returned. Our coach was virtually empty, but there were 4 people down the front plus the coach driver who were practically bosom buddies by the time we started moving again: I kept hearing them laughing wildly like they were at a party rather than in a traffic jam. Meanwhile, me and this other guy at the back of the coach struck up a more sober acquaintance based on where we'd been, where we were going and how the jam was going to affect our plans, but mainly sat and read instead. Even once we all started moving (slowly), people were waving and smiling to one another through their windows as well: plus generally being more thoughtful in terms of letting people change lane etc. than you normally get in slow-moving traffic.

It all reminded me rather of this post which I found at random on somebody's live journal, about some people bringing a half-dead Xmas tree onto a tube train. Us English may seem like a load of dour bastards to some when we're travelling, but it only takes a small thing to burst the little bubbles everyone constructs around themselves and get fellow travellers talking to one another.

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December 2018


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