“Train”-ing to Luxembourg
My standard behaviour on a train is to read or write. Or both. To be seated and forced to do nothing allowed me to turn on almost all my senses.
I chose a double seat and I sat by the window; facing another double seat. The sound of the pages of L´Essentiel being flicked through, the nervous or shy coughs, some random conversations... The noises seemed to be a little bit more annoying than usual.
There was a moment where there were no people coming or going. It was exactly then when I realised that the lights of the carriage were still on. Through the windows the sun made me a little blind. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I was travelling light, outside my country and without luggage. I thought then of all the times when I was in the same situation but with luggage. The truth is that I still get impressed by people and its variety of shapes, sizes and colors. I see how different we all are, despite belonging all to the same species. It can be an airplane, a bus, a boat, a car or a train: when I am travelling in any means of transport, I observe and think of the people commuting on that trip. That morning I could not help but notice what was happening around and within myself.
Unusually, the guard did not show up saying “Moien” in a loudly way, as many of his colleagues do. I smiled quietly, more alert to his action than to mine. He just murmured something, while waiting for travel cards, passes and tickets.
Suddenly, two passengers came together from behind and one sat in the double seat in front of me, the other one next to me. They spoke a language that I could not manage to decipher. There was a slight eye contact with one of them: she was wearing a plateau skirt with a tight black belt. In the other seat in front of me, a man with very dark complexion felt asleep over his left arm. His yellow t-shirt made a contrast with his skin. Some seats away, a Chinese man was drinking coffee while reading a tourist brochure of Vianden.
Later, I noticed a girl taking her time to pick her seat in the carriage. It was only when she sat down when I noticed that her hair was disheveled. She kept checking her mobile phone, she looked anxious and tired at the same time.
A quick announcement was made just before leaving Leudelange. The young athletic man standing next to the isle sighed heavily after listening to it, but did not say a word. A teenager got on the carriage and stopped in the first clearing of free space. Other people just rushed to get on ignoring people wishing to get off. The train started to become overcrowded by the time we reached Hollerich.
I wondered what people were thinking about. A mixture of perfumes and smells was dancing above our heads. Someone from a seat not far from mine started to eat a salami sandwich. I felt dizzy.
Some minutes before arriving to Luxembourg, sounds became noise. There was music I would have not chosen to listen to but I felt obliged to do it as the narrow proximity gave me no choice. Passengers started to crowd around doors so as to get off fast. “Go with the flow”, I thought when the train was approaching the platform. “Go... Go with the flow...”