I recently had a train journey that ended up being a bit of an adventure/hassle, depending on how you want to look at it. Me, I dance in the rain, revel in the unexpected and make the best of the uncontrollable*. Like cancelled trains, improvising, being snowed in and snowed out of airports and destinations, making snap decisions and sitting in a corner with a whole bunch of wan-looking passengers and eating boxed dinners provided by apologetic airline or train staff.
In these situations, I skip right past grouchy, angry, pissed off, frustrated and panicked, and simply settle in for the now-inevitable adventure with some measure of cheerfulness and a nose for free food and toiletries, and interesting photographs and new fellowship-of-the-stranded friends.
Anyway, what should have been a one-crappy-train, no-transfers, 3-hour journey became a three-superfast-new-and-modern trains, two long transfers, 5.5-hour journey, with no sense of whether there’d be a train waiting for me at the next instructed stop. Everyone from the cancelled train was herded along; there was a pleasant and bashful commiseration and camaraderie that develops in these kinds of situations that I rather enjoy, actually– people thrown together in the same boat, allowing a little more vulnerability than usual, a little more kindness, a little more empathy, sympathy, compassion, a little more willingness to be friendly and make acquaintances. 🙂 These total strangers helped me find the right train and platform, reminded me to get back on time at each transit point, and one lovely girl even came to find me to let me know that there was food available if I went over with my ticket. We ended up chatting and having lots in common.
When I’m not working, I am grateful for unexpected adventures like these, even if some of them can involve either a lot of hassle or illness.
*Well, mostly. I do get testy with inefficiency in dispensing accurate and essential information, though, which makes travel through some countries a pain in the… yeah.