There are nice German words, especially because we Germans built new words according to our own rules. One of these words may be “Schienenersatzverkehr”.
“Ersatz” meandered into the English-speaking world, I do not exactly know what it means there. “Kindergarten” is kindergarten, there is not much to discuss about it. “Ersatz” means first of all nothing else but “substitute”, one thing (what ever it may be) is worn and replaced with an adequate piece. Like a tire, or a set of tires – they are worn, profile is too low, so they are replaced (“ersetzt”) with another fitting set. There is no value judgement in it first.
“Ersatzverkehr” is not meant with this German monstrum, it is “Schienenersatz” : The traffic (“Verkehr”) on tracks (“Schienen”) is replaced with traffic on roads.
For whatever the reasons may be, the railroad is interrupted ; so the passengers leave the train, board a bus that touches the same destinations the train would have reached, until at one point the railroad is fully functional again, and you board the railway wagon.
This can be heaven, this can be hell.
In this case it was heaven.
I travelled to a place in the big nothing called Hohenlohe, was asked to leave the wagon, and wait for the bus over there. And from then on we travelled over smallest byroads and alleyways – to my dearest delight ! It was a great day for travelling, not too hot, but with sunshine & clear air : I encountered roads I had travelled ages ago in totally different contexts ; I saw villages I had visited twenty (or more) years ago ; finally I came upon a stretch of road that I had travelled the last time nearly thirty years ago with my father, and it was good memories.
So much to see. This detour was really the highlight of this peculiar day of travelling.
When we arrived there stood a nearly new modern “Regionalbahn”, and all I can say is that this thing was designed by a Sadist & run by junkies, and maintained by – don’t know : Is there an enhancement of neglect thinkable ?
A “RegionalBahn” is something we earlier called “Bimmelbahn”, one of those trains that stop at any heap of dung (“Misthaufen”) next to the track, and that is exactly what it did : With the notable distinction that the heap of dung I was sitting in was dirtier than the one I saw outside.
Later I used a “RegonalExpress” – and boy ! it was a difference. OK, it also was designed by a Sadist, but at least it was clean and the a/c was working.
[“Designed by a Sadist” relates to the seating places in the upper level. These modern wagons are double-deck, what is basically a nice thing, because on the upper floor one can have a nice outlook. But for a normal grown, average human being it is impossible to sit by the window in an only slightly comfortable way, simply because they nailed terribly large wastebins under those windows : No one can press her or his legs under these metal boxes.
AND : It may have occurred to some engineer that some kind of cables, or whatever, must be laid on the upper floor, sometime after the original design was accepted.
So they put these cables to the (out~)side of the car – fine. Then they put a kind of box over it, so that no passenger’s foot ever can disturb the holy cable.
When you sit in a window seat, you can not put your foot down to the ground, because there is a large metal tube running under the effing monstrous wastebin : Who ever sits at the window and wants to look out has to turn their legs to the inside, and needs to somehow sort his or her spine out.
The people responsible for this idiocy clearly were never forced to travel in such a wagon for an hour or more. And the idiots who bought this crap should be shot.
I am sure a survey under the commuters (and these damn trains are meant for commuters !) would be pretty promising.]
Now it is Sunday, late evening, I am back home. I have not had a working internet connection for the last days, and frankly I did not miss it much – with the notable exemption of Your blog, of course. I did not watch “news” – thankfully people I visit have no tvs ; I read no newspapers, ah ba ! Instead I climbed nice hills on the “Alb”, drank good wine, and was allowed to eat in a very nice tavern. They won me over with their appetiser, grilled pepperoni on a stick with tons of really fresh garlic in an excellent oil with tomato-bread crunchy-hot from the oven. And whatever the man did with the lamb’s meat to produce this sauce, it was all worth the effort. The bill was regal, but this time it was worth it.
The Alb is a good place to live.
Just so, for no special reason, Keif : You Got the Silver.
I hope you enjoy the music : Have a good week. Let’s have good times !