Posted by: TheAuthor | 21/02/2011

Miracle Train

So there I was, waiting for my train to leave Prague after an enjoyable few days. Time to move on, the train to Berlin was on its way – after being delayed for little over an hour. Looking around the platform, I did the usual people watching activity until the train arrived. A couple of nuns, a few other travellers, locals, young children messing around the benches nothing special.

Eventually the train arrived, noting a particularly long queue for one of the doors (and that people were barging to get on rather than let off other passengers) I opted for the door a little further from me. I got on, only to find the afore-mentioned passengers pushing their way past more people attempting to exit. Including two travelling (obviously pampered) early twenties girls with large suitcases for baggage. I turned around and saw a guy also travelling, we shared a laugh “I can’t believe how rude those guys are, let’s let these girls past” we agreed. After that, we parted ways and I surged ahead to find a vacant compartment.

After settling into an empty 6 seater, I drew the curtains in an effort to dissuade others from coming in. A short time had passed before a knock and the curtain parted, it was the guy I spoke to while boarding “any chance I can share with you?” he asked in an Australian accent. “Sure, come in” I replied, secretly pleased that I could share with a fellow traveller. For the next few hours Leigh and myself talked at length about our travelling experiences to date, including; our appalling diet of bread; low-grade pate; crisps; and tap water. We also began talking over our working history, it was engrossing conversation fuelled by travelling solo for a while.

Suddenly, the door burst open. A gigantic figure loomed at the entrance, having to stoop in fear of hitting his head on the cabin roof. “You gentlemen mind me joining you, I cannot find a place to sit with my legs comfortable”, with this he stepped in and sat down. As a bizarre twist, both Leigh and our new passenger, Ulf, had been talking on the platform at Prague. Ulf was obviously an astute businessman from Germany. We began talking about travelling again, about Ulf’s work and Germany – particularly Bavaria.

Around 7:30pm Ulf was hungry, the dining trolley had passed by a little while earlier and Ulf had bought us some lager. “What are your plans for dinner, gentlemen?” He posed us “Are you planning on going to the dining carriage soon?”. Myself and Leigh looked at each other, smiling, before saying unilaterally “I have some bread and pate, that’s my travelling diet. You enjoy your dinner, we will keep your leg room safe”. “Nonsense, I can’t eat in the dining carriage with you two here eating that. Come, you are my guests” stunned we replied that we couldn’t afford to pay and that it was ok for us. Ulf made it clear that we weren’t to pay, Leigh looked at me and we both shared a grin and jumped up following Ulf down the train.

We sat in the dining carriage, enjoying hot food served to us on a plate and not a bag. We were in utter luxury and basking in every second. It wasn’t lost on me, that if I hadn’t been alone I wouldn’t have been privy to that experience.

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