Dateline: 12:26 05 Sep 1996
Location: Hässleholm-Stockholm, IC 38
Strange as it seems, this is my last train journey
on this trek. But I shall not start shedding any tears yet; a grueling
6 hours await me, on what is, to my great surprise, the shittiest day train
I've taken yet. The seats are proportioned like and about as comfortable
as airplane seats, only they're facing the wrong way. Wien-Ljubljana
as was long, but I suspect the scenery will be no match this time around.
So I shall sit here and grind away at my rubbery gummi bears, and see if
the granny next to me will grok my pathetic attempts at "Jag inte talar
svenska" this time around.
Granny shipped out so now I have the bench to myself,
but this trip remains truly excruciatingly boring. I'm not
even halfway there yet, but I am already entirely sick of flat Swedish
pastoral landscape, with the miserable little village or scattered here
or there between the cows. I want to get to a hostel with a warm
shower and a nice bed, but 3 hours remaind. Aaaaiggh! Perhaps
I should have opted for a 2nd couchette in a row, but I feel fucked up
enough as it is.
Things I did not bring but should have:
Things I did bring but should've have:
Flip-flop sandals. Dealing with showers without these was a true
Light long-sleeve shirt, flannel or equivalent. It's chilly up north
and when it rains.
Clothesline and clothespins. Too much improvisation needed otherwise.
More little Zip-Lock bags.
A few smaller-denomination traveler's checks.
TCs denominated in DEM, not USD. Some places take these straight,
no commission, no exchange fees.
An umbrella, or at least a rainproof light coat.
Lots more socks and underwear. Laundry is a pain.
Backups of all important data.
I recall that I have driven by car by
exactly the same route, Helsingborg-Stockholm, and that the ride with all
its Pongköpings and Pingköpongs seemed equally interminable then.
[As it later turned out, on next
year's Love Parade trip I was to drive through the same route yet again,
by bus for a change. -ed] But somehow the hours have whiled away
in meditation, munching and musing, plus attempting to eavesdrop on the
two garrulous Finns a few cars back -- this is more difficult than it seems,
because only one of them talks loud enough for comprehension, and she's
the active listener ("Yes! Yes! Right! Exactly!") of the two. My
back hurts, yesterday's couchette (once again designed for people at least
one meter shorter than me) was lethal.
The day's budget
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