Dateline: 18.20 01 Sep 1996
Location: Venezia-Milano, IR 1704
I'm leaving Venezia at almost exactly the right time. It would've been
exactly the right time had I grabbed a seat early enough on the train
I wanted to use, but yesterday I arrived 30 minutes too late to make
reservations, and today it was too late, period - no seats left on
the Venezia-Bruxelles express. So I resorted to plan B: take this
little hop (a mere 4 hours) to Milano and catch the thru train from
Rome there. The moral of the story is that this connection train leaves
half an hour later, so I was still out walking around when the sudden
(and violent) rainstorm hit, drenching me as I scurried back to the
station, 5 minutes but 5 million raindrops away. No major damage done,
but wet sweatpants are not the most comfortable of garments.
This is my first purely local train; the Ljubljana-Divac^a hop was local,
but it was on a Croatia-Italy IC train so that doesn't count.
Interestingly enough, these funky Italians have not only come up with
the Pendolino train that bends in curves, but also a double-decker
train car. Unfortunately, in an application of the Jumbo Jet theory
of engineering, they've also crammed in 3x as many people into 2x the
space. Initially, this train was full of jolly locals, the conductor
actually seeming glad that a flaxen-haired foreigner had appeared to
alleviate the monotony. But it has emptied out, and now I sit on a
late train with outside visibility quickly approaching zero and
2 hours left. Ah, I remember those days of innocence prior to
embarking, when I resolved that on these treks, I would not read -
a bulky, expensive and at my reading speed only a very temporary
respite - and instead I would only write! A much more time-consuming
and cheap pastime, right? And written I have, 74 pages of single-spaced
handwritten scrawl according to the little number at the top of the page,
and even that a mere scratch on the surface of what I have seen,
heard, felt, smelled and tasted, the tiny incidents that create a
locale's atmosphere but which are forgotten almost as soon as they happen.
But I did not reckon on writing being so energy-consuming: many nights
I have barely the energy needed to record the most essential events,
and yet a single one of those carefulyl created, nay, scuplted
diary entries has yet to materialize. Perhaps now is the time to try,
if I can manage it with 3 generations of an Italian family sitting
(mostly) in the seats behind me.
Yes! Now I have it! After hours of profound thought, I've produced
a veritable gem, the following poem in trochee (read it right):
' - ' - ' - ' - '
I want / to go / to the / bathroom / now.
The day's budget