Trains in France run on time all the time, so when the fourteen thirty-one arrived at the opposite platform and heading towards Dijon rather than from it, it’s fair to say we began to exhibit the first signs of confusion. The text message definitely said “Arriving Auxonne 2:30” and the timetable on the station wall just as definitely decreed that there were no other trains but the one from Dole arriving anywhere near that time.
“Are you late?” I replied without stopping to see how the pre-emptive text may have translated by clumsy thumb work. Within seconds the phone rang, with Les unsure of where she was, but she was at the front of a station somewhere in France so that was a good start.
“Why not see what the sign on the front of the station says?" I helpfully suggested.
What are the chances of a train actually travelling in exactly the wrong direction, stopping in such a way as to hide all platform exits including that of the very passenger it wasn't supposed to be carrying? But she was here, and with an entire community in the port to regale with our tale of guest pick-up ineptitude, a long and hilarious night ensued.
Perhaps not for Les though. The forty hours of travel that preceded her arrival left her conspicuously unconscious as the tales grew taller proportional to the length of the night.