Außerhalb dieses Blogs

Herr K. hat einen unbezahlten Job angenommen, und wird daher in Zukunft auch von 192 Countries her bloggen.

Damit gleichzeitig Leben… oder so nicht wegen Fremdbloggens geschlossen bleibt werde ich dann und wann meine Artikel von dort auch hier anbringen. Auch wenn das dann auf englisch ist. Synergie, ha!

Heute daher gleich einmal mein erster längerer Post für 192 Countries:

“Home for the Spring Holidays”:

It’s a short hour-and-a-half train ride from Munich to family home suburbia. Just four days until Christmas Eve. It feels like March, green grass left and right. Like March after some kind of nuclear catastrophe, since all the leaves on the trees that stand guard on the fields and rivers next to the track are gone.

The suitcase I bring along of course is too big to fit in the overhead compartment. So it needs to go under the table. Great, I think, more legroom for everyone. As I settle down into my seat, a girl approaches. She’s not so much a real person as she is a character from some 1980s movie starring Ally Sheedy. Plopping her red-and-white lollipop out of her mouth for just long enough to ask if the seat across is taken, she plants a massive collection of duffel bags on the floor when I reply that it is not. I hate her just a little bit that all those bags are light and small enough to fit in the overhead compartment. Plop goes the lollipop again. She doesn’t mind the lack of legroom though, and I find that is a good start to temporary table sharing companionship aboard the 668 to Dortmund.

As I unfold my laptop, she plops once again, briefly checks the on board magazine, and then decides it is time to do what every student does on their way home for the holidays: pretend study. A law book appears, a folder filled with squared paper and an interested look on her face. I only manage a blank stare as I rearrange letters on the computer screen.

Then the calls start. I look up briefly, and the lollipop is gone. Replaced by a cell phone. The cell phone doesn’t go away. It serves to tell groundbreaking tales of catastrophe featuring almost lost bags, definitely lost hats and how to turn off the gas. I wholeheartedly support accident prevention and make a mental note to inform Santa if he needs one more thing for the good column to tip the balance. The call is repeated, an amazingly faithful reproduction, then others deal with how exactly she is going to get picked up at the station. I tune out as best I can.

As I fight the blues of having to dream of a green Christmas this year with frantically cheery pop music from my teenage years, the conductor passes by. My law student co-traveller is on the prowl for an electrical outlet to recharge her tired phone battery. I mumble some helpful words, then turn back to my screen. It’s been an hour, and the same letters are still there, albeit violently ripped out of context and placed back into it several times.

When the train’s dining car informs us that the dishes of the day are pea soup and spaghetti with tomato sauce, I chuckle. They really outdid themselves this time by not even pretending to serve something that was prepared by an actual person. The law student chuckles too, and we share one of those smiling looks that people who don’t know each other but just found out that they have at least one thing in common share. Her dark brown hair is pulled back. Her eyes are a lighter shade of brown. Her face wears make up combating ever so slight acne scars that can’t be more than three or four years old. A pretty face, but something disturbing about it.

The train pulls into my destination station six minutes late. A smelly man with oily hair that hangs of his head like spaghetti without tomato sauce complains to the intercom announcer that the train is always late. I suspect he has someplace important to be exactly six minutes earlier then when he will get there now. I manage to pull my suitcase out from under the table, though not without dropping my laptop bag in the process. The law student smiles at me and then looks at her cell phone as if it needs encouragement to finish charging.

I step off the train and notice that the little display that tells me to get out on the right side of the train does not read “Alight to the right” anymore, but “Exit train to the right side.” I wonder if the railway company received many complaints from people who do not know what alight means.

So I’m home. Christmas still is going to be green. What exactly was so disturbing about the law student’s face, I wonder as I merge with a stream of passengers moving past coffee stands and pizza vendors. I pause in front of the station’s exit door for the smelly man to pass. At least she has legroom now, I think.

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