a community serious about adventuring
“I don’t care what sprechen sie Deutchbag thinks of me. And that’s when Texas laughed”. MCW recapping the events that took place on a night train from Milan to Prague.
Some of our most memorable training experiences so far have been on the night trains. Flipping through the Eurail timetable, provided with our Eurail pass, you’ll see a symbol of a fully reclined character enjoying his time on a night train, also called a couchette (a hopeful indication of the luxury you will have with a chair bed). Here’s what you really get – a less fully drawn sun chair and a more pin-straight, 90-degree-angled chair. The recline is at best 92 degrees and is probably less than that of an airliner seats’.
Having only been on one previous night train that had gone off smoothly (Berlin to Zurich), we figured we’d travel more by night; saving on the cost of accomodation and not wasting a day travelling, a plus. The first sleeper had been nice because the booking agent felt it was his ordained duty to tell us that it would be in our best interst to pay an extra 15 Euro each and get a bed instead of the couchette. The booking agent said that he’d taken a couchette once before and he promised himself he’d never do it again. On that note, we booked the beds (tiny bunks that hang from the walls allowing no room for splaying or turning). With a plan to head to Spain via France, we were told that the striking had closed down all ground and air routes through the country. So, at a turn of our Eurail timetable page, we decided to head to the Czech Republic.
When we found cabin 262, we had been mentally prepared to unload our back-breaking packs, hop into our mini bunks for a brief five hour sleep and wake up in Munich. Rounding the cabin doorway, my peaceful austere clattered to the floor after I saw four people already sitting in our bedroom. Six chairs, three on each wall, narrow, old, uncomfortable and facing eachother. There was barley two feet separating the two rows. We had the middle two seats. This would be a sleepless night and no head leaning, unless we wanted things to get even weirder.
Two young girls and a middle aged man would be our couchetting mates for the night. The middle aged couple spoke German, and we only found this out because the gentleman (who wasn’t anything close to gentle) screamed at Morgan in hard German when he tried to rearrange the overhead baggage to accomodate our own. He kept screaming until he almost got up out of his chair so Morgan slammed his bag on the cabin floor and said “Fine, it’s gonna go right here”. After a few moments of sheer rage, Morgan got back up and had to play home improvements with the luggage now moving everyone elses around, except for the ragging German’s.
We were off to a lovely family night full of juicy hostility, burning eyes and lots of good leg cramping. The couple didn’t sleep, instead they waited until I had finally fallen asleep to wake me and demand that I move my bagagge so that the man could get to his, something he could have done very easily on his own. Actually it wasn’t even a question. He just pointed at the bag and said “Move bag”. Morgan had left the cabin to do some reading and hadn’t been there to witness this. It wasn’t until we were waiting for our connection to Prague in Munich that Morgan wandered off pretending to look for a our platform listing, but had really gone off on the prawl for the German. If it hadn’t been for the two English speaking girls in our cabin (one from Texas) playing rounds of 20 questions and “Would you rather…” scenarios, Morgan and I may have found that brawl we’d missed out on in Glasgow.
PS – Morgan let us down that night. Being one of the gaseous people we both know, he was all out of bombs that night. And in that confined cabin, in those heated moments, it would have been the perfect time and place for the most musical of episodes.