Sunday, September 30, 2007

Anywhere

I love train stations. I know they are crowded and dirty but I love the movement and the people. I always harbor the secret sense that, like the song, I can walk up to the counter and order a ticket for the first train going anywhere.

I love traveling by train, too. I like the compartments, and looking at the scenery, the fields and trees and empty buildings and abandoned factories with broken windows.

I love looking at other passengers. The girl with the stripped stockings and huge black shoes reading a book in French. The man who brings his partner a drink that they ceremoniously prepare with soda water and lemon. Once it’s ready, they silently clap before the first sip. The family of four sitting next to us. I see the mother unpack enough food for an army: sliced apples with peanut butter, potato chips, sandwiches, drinks. The boy looks at the screen on his iPod, puts his feet up on the seat and moves to a beat I cannot hear.

When it gets dark, I look out and only see my reflection on the window – a ghost of my face, the orbs of my brown eyes looking back at me and a whooshing image of trees in the background as backdrop.

11 comments:

David said...

Your descriptions seem far too romantic for the train in question to be the San Francisco to San Jose CalTrain...so which magical journey are you describing?

Dushka said...

I am describing travel by train anywhere but the girl with the French book, the two men preparing their drink and the well fed family were all on the train from New York to DC I took last Friday.

Miguel Cane said...

I love trains.

I take them often.

It's relaxing.

Much love.

Tessitore di Sogno said...

Airplanes will never replace trains like all past time was better; and every day I'm more certain of that universal fact, like those lovers in the old European train stations saying goodbyes, shedding a tear so once the train was running the lover departing staring the movement of the outside landscapes in slow-motion, with a knot in his throat.

luca.penati said...

Trains are also better for the environment that airplanes :)

luca.penati said...

My favorite train stations: Milano Centrale and all the little train stations on the Liguria Coast.

Dushka said...

I don't have a favorite. I kind of like them all.

I'd even have to include a museum: I love how Gae Aulenti designed the Musee D'Orsay.

Pedro said...

More or less Luca....

It depends on the train. A lot of the romantic imagery associated with trains is very dirty. The chooo chooo is typically from a coal-fired engine which uses up a lot more coal than the equivalent of an airplane (as the rides are a lot longer).

Besos!!

sencho said...

I agree with you Dushka, trains are the best!! The only problem is that they take too long - I really wanted to do the Sofia - Moscow journey this winter by train, but 2.5 days is too long... Once I'll get aged, I hope to spend more time on the trains :)

Dushka said...

Arseny!
What are you suggesting?

sencho said...

Dushka, I am suggesting that young people like you and I have to value the precious vacation time and wait for the retirement age to fully enjoy the fun of train journeys :) For instance, I am keen on the Trans-Siberian trip from Vladivostok to Moscow - it is around 2 weeks last time I checked.