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"Train & Bus roulette" stories

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As somebody in the 'Tell us your "Airplane roulette" stories' thread mentioned a train passenger it reminded me of a story and thought maybe we could have a spin off thread for train and bus stories. So I will start.

 

I was travelling from Mongolia to Beijing on part of the trans Siberian railway trip I had taken when I (as a mid 20's male) had to share an overnight cabin with a 70+ year old lady. When we got talking she told me some interesting stories from when she was a child.

 

She was living in New Zealand for many years but was originally from Germany from the city of Königsberg which is now part of Russia know as Kalinigrad. She grew up there as a child during the 2nd world war, and the city used to get bombed very regulary by both the Allies and the Russians. She told me that depending on when and what time the bombers would come determined when or if they had to go to school the next day. So if they came before 11pm then next day was school as normal, if they came between 11pm and around 2am then they would start school late, and if they came after 2am then there was no school the next day at all.

 

So as children, they would actually want and hope that they would be bombed and that it would be as late as possible so that they didn't have to go to school!

 

Also, later after the war she met and married an older man (and they moved to New Zealand together). He was British and during the 2nd world war he flew bombing missions, including over Königsberg!

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On an overnight train somewhere in Vietnam we were all thrown from our cots as the train had a massive jolt. We came to a very quick stop and everyone was up and about trying to work out what was going on. Turns out we hit a guy on a moped. Ambulance? Police? Nope, a shovel and the back of a car. We were off again within 15mins. Apparently it happens quite often. The railway lines sit between the road and the houses.

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Sitting at a level crossing in Missouri peering down the tracks waiting for a freight train to appear. Now these trains can be several miles long and travel very slowly, so if you have to wait for one to pass it can be a loooong wait. They also have a stopping distance of about half a mile.

 

Suddenly our driver decides he has time to cross the tracks, after all and slaloms through the barrier and across the tracks. At which point we realise the train is coming from the other direction, and is less than 10 meters away.

 

Lived to tell the tale.

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