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train » Blogging AS an Aspie
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Matt has Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is writing this blog so that people can gain more of an insight into how people with the condition process thoughts, feel emotions, react to situations and generally handle life.
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03 Nov 08 The power of observation

The following is what I noticed from 10 minutes of sitting opposite somebody on a train!

Based on where the 1045 service comes in from, I took a guess that she had travelled via London to get here, more specifically, either Paddington (unlikely), Marylebone, or Vauxhall (unlikely). She appeared to be quite tired, so perhaps she has spent most of her morning travelling.

She also waited until we were 30 seconds away from the platform – well after the guard made his announcement. Barely looking out of the window, and seemingly absorbed in her reading, I would probably say that she is used to this route; possibly it is routine for her to take long weekends at home? She was more than halfway through her book, and barely lifted her head; reading is obviously quite a passion with her.

Then, based on the fact that this was a Monday, and she had a couple of large bags with her, I could assume that she had been home for a long weekend somewhere. Some of the things in her open bag were food-based, including home-made sandwiches for the journey; I think her parents care about her a lot, and she is quite close to those at home.

As it’s early November, and she’s coming across as a confident young lady, she could be a 2nd or 3rd year at one of the universities. There again, I didn’t notice any notes or textbooks in her bags. What I did notice was an offical-type letter in its envelope. Had a tin of food not been in the way, her address would have been on show.

Physically, she was a slim girl, with originally ginger, dyed brown layered hair. She wasn’t wearing much makeup, but she applied some lip gloss as we came into the station. She wasn’t engaged, she had no ring on the finger; but maybe not single, I don’t know what, but something just told me she wasn’t available.

How do I notice so much?

I don’t know. Seriously. That is what I took in and remebered in the space of 10 minutes. I then put it into a note on my phone, and saved it to publish on here. To be honest, I barely looked at that note to type this, it has stuck in my mind.

I know my mind works differently from a neurotypical one, but nobody can quite say much more than “it is wired differently”. Whether that is good or bad, we don’t know. What we can establish is that I have amazing recall, and my experience tells me that this is a common feature of having Asperger’s Syndome!

20 Mar 08 Train delays

Why is it that every time I choose to visit my Gran in Southampton, whichever method of transport I choose is delayed? Last year my flights had long delays, now I’m sitting on the delayed CrossCountry service from Edinburgh to Bournemouth, which is being terminated a lot earlier than that at Reading! Whilst I fully appreciate that somebody tried to commit suicide near Northallerton, and the circumstances were suspicious, and the police needed to investigate it, and all that, I am pondering a few things…

It’s nice of the train crew (who incidentally change over in Birmingham New Street due to the EU WTD 2004) to tell me that the train is going to be turned back at Reading. Of course, the 2110 Reading – Birmingham New Street is such a popular and essential service that they don’t even provide refreshments on it! So, as it is, I now have a connection to make; onto the train that left Newcastle two hours after this one! They asked us to change over at Derby, the announcement coming just 10 minutes before the train stopped.

The staff at Derby did not appear at all helpful, the first person not having a clue at all. Then the announcement told us to wait on the platform we were on for the next train. So we did, until we saw a screen telling us to go to the platform at the opposite side of the station. Off we all went, only to find out just as the train pulled in that we needed to cross over to another part of station yet again. And Derby doesn’t have a fast food place! An ironic point I should make at this point is that a social worker on the train missed her original one due to dealing with somebody threatening to commit suicide!

I’ve already been on the phone to customer services; the nice people have told me that if I send in my tickets with a covering letter, they will assess my claim for compensation. Following National Express East Coast’s lead, I rather hope they refund the full cost of both portions of the return ticket!

Have a look at a copy of the Complaint Letter.