Our train was booked for 9.10am from Toulouse to Bordeaux.
The day before Deb spoke to Leo, the chap who lives in the apartment building and checks people in, about ordering two taxis for the morning. Leo then called Pierre, the guy who owns the apartments, to get him to call the taxis.
The train station was about a 25 minute walk (with no bags).
Pierre confirmed that he had booked the taxi for 8.15am. He’d suggested booking at this earlier time because the traffic is horrendous at that time of the morning.
So, it’s raining, we’re all squashed inside the alcove that leads up to the apartments… at 8.30am one taxi pulls up. Jason, Deb and I jump in thinking that the second taxi must be right behind him.
The driver asked me if we’d booked two taxis.
“Yes, we have.” I told him, then tried in my best broken French if he could check. We went back and forth a bit before he eventually called his dispatch office to confirm that only one taxi had been ordered. By now it’s 8.45am.
Deb called Pierre to explain our predicament and he said that he would call another taxi. But called back moments later to say that all the taxis were booked.
Deb then called Kylie and suggested that they look for a taxi on the street or start walking, in the rain, to the station.
We tried to ask our driver if he could go back and get them, but he told us that we must ring his dispatch office.
Once we’d arrived at the station, we made enquiries about changing our tickets to the next train. There was much back and forth with the only person who thankfully spoke English. We could change our tickets, but we had to change them before the train left, but we weren’t sure if they were going to make it. If we left the ticket change until after we’d missed the train, it would be too late! A catch 22 dilemma.
It was touch and go as Brian, Jackie and Kylie ran through the wet streets of Toulouse dragging their suitcases.
Then Jason, who was on lookout signalled to Deb and me in the ticket office that he could see them. We had about 5 minutes before the train was leaving.
Brian ran in with his case, drenched and dripping with sweat. He dumped his bag and ran back out into the rain to help Jackie with her bag. Jason ran out after him to grab Kylie’s suitcase. The girls ran in looking a little worse for wear, but we made it to the platform in search for carriage number 9 where our reserved seats were.
We showed our tickets to an official looking person to make sure we were on the correct platform and she informed us that there was no carriage 9 anymore and we were to sit in any seat in carriage 6 – all the way down the other end of the platform.
Everybody got their jog on to carriage 6 and we finally made it, lugged our cases on and fell into our seats; As the train pulled away from the station, three of us felt awful…
This is clearly bullshit!