Touristic type no. 6. The school trip. Oh, dear g*d, the school trip. Not the harmless British school trip of primary school children in an untidy crocodile, coats and backpacks hanging off their tiny shoulders, clutching the colouring books they got at the Museum of London, all in matching jerkins reading “St John of the Divine Primary School, Aldershot” on the back, presumably so the police know where to post them when they get lost, shepherded by numerous anxious teachers, teaching assistants and mums. No, I refer to the *shudder* foreign school trip.
These usually come from either France, Germany or Italy, and number about forty children with perhaps two teachers. You can recognise them because they have matching backpacks and also because they are unbelievably noisy and take up every scrap of space available. They range in age from about twelve to seventeen. The twelve year-olds have the merit of being relatively unrowdy but usually have the air of people who have checked out for the duration. They stand in a circle facing inwards and if you say “Excuse me” to them, they don’t move, but rather look at you over their shoulders with mild curiosity, like cows.
The seventeen year olds are the worst. They are enormous. They shout and yell and hoot and laugh, the boys particularly as they attempt to show off for the girls. If you’re standing anywhere within earshot, all you will hear is “Eh, Rudi! Rudi! Rudi! Boof!!! Booof!!!! Eh, Rudi!! BOOFF!!! RUDI!! BOOOFFF!!!” It gets to the point where even I’m tempted to shout back.”For God’s sake, Rudi, just say “Boof”, will you?” If seats become available, they will hurl themselves into them with cries of joy and gleefully invite their friends, especially those of the female type, to sit on top of them. If they succeed, lots of cross-talk and innuendo will ensue. If they fail to attract the young lady of their choice to sit on their knee, they will assuage their pride by yelling the length of the carriage “Eh, Tito! Tito! Boof!! Boof, Tito!! Eh, Tito, Boof!!!!” At least all this racket does alert you to their presence and enable you to get into another carriage, or, in the worst case, onto another train.
A Bake Off Intermission tomorrow!!!