Shevek (shevek) wrote,

The airport was very civilized with signs in all languages. We walked along a glass corridor and peered down at the departure hall below. The immigration guard didn't care much about us, and we were in. The train station had moved, the entrance is now on the left. We were late, because of the madness on the plane, and we waited 45 minutes for the train. The station was cool and breezy, and we sat under a nice green tree. R said he could do with a drink. I offered a chocolate bar, but the only drink we had was scotch, and I don't think he meant that.

The train doors closed, it started off, and then the guard announced: "There are no trains beyond X after 10pm." We cussed. After an hour, the train stopped and we got off. Everybody else went away, leaving us in the middle of nowhere.

The station manager had a light, a whistle, a metal detector and a standard issue pistol in a shoulder stock. He asked us what we wanted. "A train." "It's on platform 2." "No, north." "Oh." He shrugged. The next train north is in a few hours. We walked up and down the concrete platform and cussed. Then we sat down and cussed. Then R went to sleep while I walked up and down and cussed, and after an hour we changed places and I slept while he walked up and down and cussed.

The station has been built over some time. The original rough concrete pillars and roof were extended, at some later date, with bars and windows, enclosing the platform. Later, a security gate was added, and after that, cabling, sound and monitors were installed, each layer of modification glued roughly over the previous layer with obvious joins. Nothing really made it comfortable, but on the other hand it wasn't deliberately uncomfortable, as English stations are wont to be.

At 4:01 in the morning, a train arrived, going north. We were the only passengers, save the guard and his friend. We got on and the guard went to sleep. At the end of the line, the guard stayed asleep, so we worked out how to open the doors and got off.

The taxi had clearly had a robust interaction with another vehicle. The engine sounded as if something was falling off, but I couldn't tell what by ear. R was more talkative than I, and explained to the taxi driver about my big bag. The driver asked, "mah zeh saif?" and R translated, "fencing, a sport with swords". It isn't a common word, or sport. He understood "cherev".

As I lay in my blankets, I heard a "door-YOWL-slam" combination, R had put the cat out of his bed. The yowling went on, getting closer and further away as Tabitha explored. A few minutes of meows, and another "door-YOWL-slam" combination left Tabitha outside the house. I fell asleep.
Tags: writing
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