Yesterday I got on a wrong train.
I had just finished speaking at a seminar somewhere in London. I was tired and distracted. I was also in a hurry to catch a connecting train which was pre-booked. I was on the right platform waiting for my train. When this train pulled up I thought it was the right train and got on.
Ten minutes into the journey I discovered my mistake. I studied the map and the direction the train was headed, I didn’t recognise ANY stops.
I was in trouble.
To tell you the truth, for a moment I was anxious. All kinds of crazy thoughts ran through my mind.
Where is the destination of this train?
How far is it from where I wanted to go?
What area of the city was it going? Was it a dangerous part of the city?
I was concerned because it was getting late. I wore a suit and carried some luggage. Wearing a suit in the wrong part of town, at night, would make me a target that could not be ignored.
If you got on a wrong train in New York, you better start praying because the NYC subway is very confusing. People who have lived in New York for a few years tell you that it can be confusing.
Fortunately for me this happened in London.
I studied the underground map on the train to see in what direction the train was headed and how to correct my mistake and get on the right train.
As I studied the map, I found a station I recognised. I wasn’t very sure if it was the same station I knew or this was another one with a similar name.
Now there was hope.
For the next twenty minutes I rode on this train knowing that I wasn’t supposed to be on it, knowing that I was headed in the wrong direction, knowing that it was a waste of my time, but there was nothing I could do about it. I was uncomfortable in my seat. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind as I sat there. How will the journey end, I wondered. My fellow travelers had no idea what was going on in my mind. They probably wondered why I got up so many times to study the map above my head. Continue reading