Friday, November 03, 2006

NaBloPoMo- Day trois

The European adventures seem so very very far away by now. I've been back more than three months now. Wow. I guess it has been a while. Time to start leaking a few stories that you definitely never heard. This one I kept under lock and key... until now. Wait, maybe this needs to be a two-parter. Yes, I'll roll it back a little further. Maybe this you did hear. But we've got 27 days so lets get to it.

Part 1.

The bus was hot, I was tired and there weren't many days left in our two-month trip. My traveling partner had sacrificed his camera to the travel gods a few days before and I had just made my own personal contribution. My super fancy sunglasses (I got them free, remember?) weren't with me anymore. They were now somewhere along the Vltava riverbed somewhere in the vicinity of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. The bus was rolling its way back towards Prague and from the bus station it would only be two trains to Berlin. Of course we had already been to Berlin and this time we were hoping the stopover wouldn't last much longer than 45 minutes.

Our train rolled into the city's brand new station, though we could have sworn it was a spaceship. The giant domed ceiling of opaque glass rose over five separate open stories, each with overhangs and glass railing and of course with at least two sets of trains train tracks stringing off in more directions than my eyes could track. Neither of us had qualms about hopping on the next train. Our first time through Germany we had learned that reservations were unnecessary, trains were clean, new and always on time.

One thing we were not prepared for was the lack of ticket windows. The new station was so 21st century that they didn't feel the need to have any real faces attending to your needs after 5 p.m. It was rolling up towards ten o'clock and the list of remaining trains leaving the station continued to shorten with each passing minute. There was a sudden sense of urgency so the two of us snatched up a couple giant German Donners (you gotta go there to get this one), a few beers and headed to our track.

Nether of us expected to see what we did sitting on track 24. It was not a beautifully sleek, long and clean german train. Oh no. The two, yes two, cars of this clunker could not have contrasted more with the futuristic station. This was the night train from Berlin to Malmo, Sweden. A stopover on the way to Stockholm. The two sleepers cars were filled with young high school and college kids. Filled nearly to the brim. My stomach started to sink. We had to get on this train. Where else could we go? With little more than ten minutes left until departure I found the conductor and, with my best half-english/half-sign language, signaled that we wanted two beds on the train. "Nein. No more. Train is full." I said it was just two. What if someone doesn't show? "Nein. Full." The germans sure got to the point.

We laid or backpacks on the ground beside the track and sat, dejected. We cracked the beers. Might as well take a moment enjoy what we could. Who knows were we would end up tonight. Who knows how we would get to Stockholm to get the planes to London to get the plane to jersey to get the plane home.

The whistle blew. We joked about sleeping on the floor of the space station. And just then something amazing happened. The train's door slid open. And the conductor motioned to me. I ran over.

"Zvei?" He asked. Yes, just two, I said. "Come." I ran to grab my bag, told my friend to get his shit together and left a little Donner mess on the squeaky clean spaceship floor. And jumped on the train. The door closed and we started to move. The conductor showed us to two small bunks in a compartment with two german beer drinking and guitar playing hippies. Tomorrow, Sweden. More beers all around. I can't believe fate works like this....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The thing about love, it's the transfer that's hard. Not to another girl. To the idea of someone. It's not an easy thing to do"

I know that. I've always known that.

But I didn't realize it until you wrote it down for me.
On that day you made a kid in Norway(of all places) smile for the first time in what seemed like a few thousand years.

I don't think I'm alone.

And one day.. someone's going to ask the inevitable question.

" What happened to the onethousandsixhundredandfiftyseven comments that this guy deserved every single day? "

I don't have the answer to that, but I hope it's a damn good one.

Thank you.

From all of us.

7:45 PM  

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