17: Pleasant Eurostar staff
This might be an odd one, but on this day (and my ridiculous stress levels lately) they were very helpful.
As an update: Pete was booked a seat by work. At the time we purchased my ticket we didn’t know if he was in business class or steerage. We guessed steerage based on teh price, so I booked a steerage seat, opting not to upgrade to business for an additional £15 (Hint: if the upgrade is £15, do it!!) and was allocated a flip down seat as the train was over-full due to a French bank holiday.
The next day we learned that Pete was in business class. She we call and ask if I can upgrade my ticket. “Only on the train, but shouldn’t be a problem as business class passengers routinely don’t show up.” Excellent, however no word on the price.
We show up at St.Pancras and head to the ticket counter. Still nothing available, prepare for the journey on a flip-down seat. This is where the ridiculous stress level kicked in, I started crying. I knew it was ridiculous, but I couldn’t stop it. Again we were assured that business passengers won’t be showing up, it shouldn’t be a problem.
At the carriage, it’s definitely a problem. Nothing and “The upgrade cost is £150.” This is something I never understand and why I have now vowed to upgrade at time of purchase whenever plausible. Waiting until the day is not an option anymore. (Plus I just never arrive at a travel terminal looking like someone that normally travels above steerage class).
So Pete heads to his seat and I start the long walk to the end of the train and my flip down seat in the corridor. Crying starts again. I stow my bag and take a seat that reminds me of being put out in the hall when you were naughty at school. Something about the seat made me sit very primly waiting for a carriage manager to take pity and find me a seat. I tried to look unbothered, but I don’t think I pulled it off.
Eventually I was assigned a seat, heading backwards which means travel sickness, and surrounded by a family force-feeding their kids sugar (I assume as the five kids didn’t stop moving or yelling or play-fighting for the duration) and a trio of snorers.
Then I get a text: “I can’t come visit. They are serving a meal and I can’t get out.” Excellent.
In the end, the trip was fine. Beautiful sunset as we pulled into Paris, actually. I was in a funk the whole journey from Gare du Nord to the hotel. But after some room service and a little BBC costume drama, I ended the day contently nested with Pete in a duvet and six pillows. In Paris. Lovely.