Traveling Companions

Coming back by train from Magdeburg I was looking forward to a quiet trip. It was quite late - 10 pm - and the train was thankfully empty. Unfortunately, my laptop had not reloaded during my talk, so I didn't have much juice. But I had a table to myself and lots of other stuff to read.

Then we pulled into Werder. There were masses of humanity on the platform.
Oh oh, the Fruit Tree Bloom Festival, a yearly piss-up.

I braced myself, as the hoards approached. The singing guys luckily went upstairs (and no, they were not singing the Divine Office). A mass of American Students from Michigan descended on the downstairs, with one woman sitting at my table. An older German gentleman joined us.

I was deep in reading internship reports when I realized the German man was trying to speak with the girl from Michigan. He was trying to figure out where she was from, but was speaking with a very, very thick accent. "Breetish? Australia? Polski?" The girl realized what he was asking and said "USA".

Oh my, that unleashed a long string of names of things he could think of! "Germantown, there are Germantowns in the US, and people used to speak German". "The Amish and the Mormons, do you know them?" (he was, of course, speaking German). He went on and on, listing names of things and associations he had, until he finally hit "Obama". And she and her companions repeated the name and giggled. He smiled and continued on ranting about how he had learned only Russian in school.

I took pity and asked the girl where they were from. Turned out to be a group of students studying landscape architecture that had been touring Europe together. I translated for the German man, but that just made him more talkative.

I tried to hide in my report, but no, he kept on, talking up a storm. In Potsdam the American students left, so he focused his attention on me. I finally gave up, put the report in my bag, and closed my eyes for a nap.

A sharp rap of the head of the guy sitting behind me banging on the back of my seat shook me awake. And I realized my stockings were getting wet, as he was in the process of throwing up. I gathered my belonging, but one direction was blocked by a girl riding her scooter. So I went the other direction - bad choice. I landed in a group of singers.

They sang many sexually offensive songs, very loud and very off key. They spoke very loudly of their supposed sexual conquests. And then Barfo and his buddy got up (their seats were now rather uncomfortable) and lurched in my direction. Barfo's friend had a Hertha scarf on, so the singers started to sing nasty songs about Hertha losing the soccer game and having to go down to the minor leagues. As I tried to disappear into the corner, the wine bottles in my bag clanked. "Alcohol, alcohol, we need more alcohol," the singers chanted. No, I don't think so.

I prayed for the next station, asap.

We made it without Barfo doing his thing again, and I got away as fast as I could. There is something to be said for traveling by car.

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