What I love most about Europe is the trains. Clean, spacious, fast and comfortable. With huge windows that show you some of the best sights you’re likely to come across in life. Just settle in, put your coffee cup on the little table, and, if you’re feeling cheeky, lay a newspaper on the seat opposite you and put your feet up, and as the train pulls out of your pretty station, get set for a ride like none other.
Don’t look at anything that’s too close to you, or your head will spin! Focus on the distant horizon instead. It’s the best policy for life and for train rides. Take breaks from the view, else you’ll be possessed by a demonic urge to crash through the panes and go walking in that green field or the patch of woods you just passed by. Look at your fellow passengers intermittently: smile at the old ladies and get smiled back at (the sister recommends this highly), assure the two Italian hooligans that they did NOT need to punch their tickets at the station, smile pleadingly at the British girl to dissuade her from spending the next two hours talking on the phone about a party she’s planning.
If you have a long day ahead of or behind you, try a nap. Be prepared for the finger of authority poking your sleepy shoulder and demanding to see your ticket, though. Scores of fake sleepyheads have obviously tried to snooze their way out of buying a ticket, and your snores are falling on deaf and cutely suspicious ears.
The train is also a great place to catch up with work, because your real life partner, the Internet, is not there to distract you. Read a book, complete an assignment, or dream up the emails you need to send out. The next stop is: Workstation!
I just love the trains. Grumpy office-goers complain that the trains always run late (which they actually do, in the mornings), but what do grumpy office-goers know about trains running late? Yaatrigan kripaya dhyaan dein: Hyderabad ko jaaney waali AP Express samay se 12 ghantey deri se ravaana hogi….
I’ve been looking for an adventure, a sanctuary, a bedazzling, shifting panorama, and a long journey. For me, the trains of Europe are running right on time. Goede Reis!