Greta, DB and Journos

Greta travelling on DB’s ICE

I feel the need for a little rant. I don’t understand why people get so uptight about 16yr old Greta Thunburg – you often hear people saying “Kids these days are lazy, not interested, buried in the phones etc, etc”. This kid’s got into it. What’s wrong with that?

My suspicion is that if she was stunningly beautiful to look at, all those angry middle aged men would have quite different opinions and be far more indulgent. Uncomfortable thought isn’t it? Good.

Now, it’s the latest ‘news’ surrounding her train travel  through Germany that has me fired up, because main stream media, including the bloody ABC – I mean of course Sky News is going to savage her without investigating, but the ABC? – have attacked her without reason.

As most will know, she posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor of a train with all her luggage. I liked the shot, she was looking thoughtful at the end of her year long journey. She said nothing about DB (the train company), however the media across the world and DB read the picture as a reprimand about not being looked after properly and did they all go for her!

DB responded by tweeting that she travelled First Class with them and they were sorry she hadn’t seen fit to make that public – more grist for the MM mill!

She did in fact travel First Class, LATER in her journey, after somebody in DB recognised her, but at the point where the photo was taken, she, along with a lot of other people, had been put onto a different train, due to DB cancelling the train she was booked on and consequently, she had no seat as the train was completely overcrowded! More on that in a minute.

She would have been perfectly within her rights, to have tweeted the DB fuck up – I would have – but she didn’t, that wasn’t the purpose of her tweet.

Now, it’s patently obvious most journos in Oz, NZ, the USA and the UK are unfamiliar with the German rail system,  if they were, the story would hopefully – well, perhaps not with Sky News – have been quite different, but what is shocking, is all the lazy vicious pricks calling themselves journalists, did no fact checking or research. Indeed, the irony is, they have carried on in exactly the same way journos accuse people on social media of behaving. In the vernacular of SM, these journos are trolls.

As anyone who regularly travels on German trains can tell you, cancellations, train replacements, late arrivals and sudden platform changes are a daily occurrence.  Inevitably, when your train is cancelled, passengers are put on to another train and guess what? Yep, you loose your booked seats. Worse, more often than not, the replacement train (if there is one!), is smaller (less carriages) than the one you were booked on, so there is little hope of finding a seat. People end up sitting on their luggage in the doorways – JUST LIKE GRETA!

German rail travel is brilliant, but it is often chaotic and I have noticed that German rail officials (conductors etc) are usually paralysed in such situations – they keep walking and ignore the chaos around them. I suspect it’s because Germans are so used to ‘order’ that they simply have no training / instinct to deal with failure. I should point out I’m not saying that as criticism, purely on observation of culture.

And as if to reinforce what I’m writing, two hours ago, (Monday 16th December), here in northern Germany, I took my wife and mother in law to the station (they’re off on a four day holiday). When we got there, a detailed announcement was made, telling everyone waiting to catch the Bielefeld train that they needed to be on the next platform (150m away). Everyone (commuters and travellers) dutifully trudged along to that platform.

Then a train arrived, marked Beilefeld, at the platform where everyone had been waiting! No further announcements.   Passengers talked amongst themselves, then everyone decided to rush back. Sure enough, that was their train. The driver popped his head out the window and asked a passenger what was going on! Welcome to daily train travel in Germany. Indeed, as I was editing this tale, my wife rang to say the train out of Bielefeld had been delayed, they’d been put another train that was slower and they would therefore miss the next connection.

There are lessons here for main stream media, although most are too arrogant to accept it, but perhaps you’ll begin to understand why we don’t trust you anymore.  

Greg Ross

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