Under the Raydar: Fiddly dee, DSB
Okay, it seems kinda unfair that an old salt like me would take shots at the low-hanging fruit piñata that is DSB. Like poking fun at Justin Bieber, it’s just too easy. But …
Leaves on line (not time)
Since my knowledge of finance is limited to whatever is jingling in my pocket at any given time, I’m not the guy to ask about your ‘privatisation vs public’ debate. But I will say that if I did business with any private company that did its one job as poorly as DSB, I’d be looking for someone – anyone – else to do business with.
They are seriously, unremittingly, I-pay-taxes-for-this-shite bad.
I have been on IC trains to and from Jutland when announcements have been made that we travelling at a reduced rate because: it was autumn and there were leaves on the rails; it was summer and the heat was making the rails soft; and it was winter and there was ice on the rails.
So by those calculations, there is one day in spring at about the end of May that the trains can travel at full speed.
They had their uses
Join me on my daily commute on a S train crammed into stinking carriages that were outdated the same day they came into service and you’ll find me 20 minutes late, cheek-to-jowl with a fella who enjoyed a garlic-filled curry for breakfast.
It is always then that the conductors have the gall to check tickets. I have probably molested people while digging into my pocket to find a klippekort that I really then wanted to shove up a nostril.
And the klippekort? Is it dead or not? DSB and their minions have handled the switchover to the new rejsekort about as well as they handled the purchase of IC4 trains – machinery that sucks so bad that the manufacturer can’t even give it away as a gift.
No toilet on the toilet
But Raymond, you say, DSB has always stunk, so why use digital ink to overstate the obvious now?
Let’s just say it has something to do with my most recent trip to Aalborg. Six hours. I really don’t mind the trip, because I get a lot of work done using the free DSB 1 internet connection – when it works. No, I’m not in a DSB 1 seat, but there’s a trick to it.
Anyway, I usually don’t mind the trip, but I do mind being trapped for six hours on a train with a broken toilet. Out of order. Closed. Taped shut.
I’m nearly 60. When I drink two cups of coffee before I get on a train, about three hours later, I need a restroom. I really needed a restroom. A week later and my kidneys still hurt.
Leading by example
But at least they provide entertainment, sending panhandlers and their dogs through on every single trip, every single time, to suggest I should give them my small change for whatever service it is they are not performing that day.
But Raymond, you say, begging on the trains is illegal. Yeah, that’s working out about as well as the ‘no smoking on the platform’ ban.
That one is hard to enforce when some of the most flagrant violators are lighting up while wearing their DSB uniforms, waiting for a train that might come … someday.
Our journalist Ray Weaver has been living here for most of the past 20 years.
Originally a member of the ‘Guinness pipeline’ – that group of expats who make a living annoying the punters at the nation’s many Anglo-themed pubs – he also writes songs, stories and anything else that earns a crust.