I’m a bit behind with the chronicles, as I’ve been wandering various German and French cities for the past few days. But I’ll try and post a few journal-type entries I’ve been keeping while riding trains and sitting in cafes.
December 8th, 2012. 9:45 AM
Aboard the Franz Kafka Express to Munich
Dropped off in Dejvicka by Patty, then used my last Prague Metro ticket on the subway to Hlavni Nadrazi rail station. Quiet Saturday morning in Prague. A few female tourists with their bags rolling behind them, me with this huge suitcase (it’s all I had, and didn’t have time to buy a smaller one.) I have named it Bill the Pony.
Bought breakfast in the station: pastry with Nutella, my European favorite. Wander a bit, see the old abandoned station building, sitting atop the new long low boring one. Watch the departures board, wait for the platform. #3 is displayed and away I go.
Older train, slow, mostly compartments of six seats. A white plastic version of the Hogwarts Express. I have a reserved seat. Old Czech man in there as well. Face reminds me of guys back home. Bull-necked and barrel-chested, uses a cane to navigate the corridor. Pulls rosary beads from his pocket from time to time, prays silently to himself.
Young skinny guy with no luggage rides the first leg, but disappears (along with his noticeable body odor) once the conductor starts checking tickets.
Pass through leafless woods, brown and grey, dusting of snow on the ground. Small, run-down villages, reminders of the old days. Revolutions come and go here, but not a lot changes, I imagine. Mountains appear to the south, far away. Snow gets heavier, forest gets thicker, evergreens still giving off a dull color.
Cross the border into Germany, the old bull gone from the compartment, replaced by a mother and a daughter examining boxes of Christmas chocolates. Then another young brunette woman, then two more speaking some far Eastern European language join us in the compartment. Five gorgeous women and me, rattling along southern Germany, dozing here and there, the sun glinting off the solar panels on the roofs of barns and houses as we make our way to Munich.