For the fourth time in several minutes, the train shudders, eases forward and jolts to a halt. It can't seem to make up its mind. I eye the door. I have snared the only empty compartment on this train, and I'd like to have it all to myself ... The train begins to move again, this time with more of a sense of purpose. We clear the platform and then the station, and for the first time in more than an hour I can breathe easily. But it proves premature because, just then, the door to my compartment opens suddenly and two people enter, one a tall man in his 30s, the other a girlish-looking fellow in his late teens. For a moment I think I'm hallucinating -- that lack of sleep again -- because they're lugging two very large, very ornate mirrors, which they stow in a luggage rack. And then, without speaking a word (they act, in fact, as if they haven't noticed me), they leave.Read the rest of it. It made me want to pack up and get on a train.
Monday, May 16, 2005
I came upon this site only recently and wish it had never shut down. Salon.com's travel site, Wanderlust has beautiful writing. Here's a sample from Eric Lawlor's Close Quarters, about a train journey in South Africa with two coloureds, one black, and an oven: