The tram that runs through the heart of Pest is the Combino, a worm like creature that betrays it owners by such description, and I’m under no illusions about people power; this is the government’s toy on loan to us and at any time available to be removed. When first purchased it couldn’t be held on the tracks so these had to firstly be reinforced. Now I’m loath to suggest that this was a lack of foresight on local government’s part. Call me cynical, but for me the idea of sensible thought at all was absolutely secondary to profit. There is little urban planning that is purely altruistic. Sometimes there is on offer more than lip-service but this is partially due to a significant lobby. Here in Budapest the Critical Mass gang may have had some hand in coercing the coffers of the local politicians (taxpayers money actually) but in Ireland, at least Cork, even that was presented almost as a pie in the face. The half arsed attempt to create bicycle lanes there was insulting.
Now a few pretty laneways in Budapest for our two-wheeled compatriots doesn’t amount to a victory if looked at from the greater perspective – the Combino again. After ‘readjusting’ the tracks it was soon realised that, well, in the summer these metal corridors of transportation stink of body odour (b.o./ be oh!) and coupled with the intense heat generated they were a punishment. My times in the confessional were a Funfair in comparison but, of course, on the latter issue I was one of the lucky ones!
“Bless me Father (!) for I have sinned…”
“Haven’t we all, my boy, haven’t we all!”
“Really Father now what have you…”
Not to have taken the initial plunge into the funds and bought the air-conditioned versions WAS money-saving but in the long term money-wasting. Installing air-conditioning into these models later would prove much more expensive than the first outing, and maybe even less efficient functionally speaking.
Dumb? Yes, if you thought they’d been thinking but let’s be honest, they hadn’t, they aren’t, and they never will, at least not when it comes to us. To accuse them of erroneous judgement is to attribute to them a humanity that is laughable. And all this without one mention of the Metro 4. Good God! Good luck!!!