"T-roy's Stories" abercrome's Profile
The above picture is from a trip I took this last year while in Europe. I was riding on a train from Paris to Amsterdam and really looking fwd to doing some “soul” searching in Amsterdam. You know find Jimmie Hendrix and Jim Morris, hey it’s Amsterdam right??
I found my seat and was prepared for another boring ride, as I was by myself, and only had my future thoughts of what I was going to do once I got there. Hoping that the seats next to me would be empty I found an Australian cat sitting in my seat. So I had to be the bad guy and show him my ticket… hate that when it happens and you know what I mean because it has happened to us all at some point. Okay bad start but took stock after I got seated; Aussie to my right, Aussie sitting in front of me and a little old lady (about 80 years old and not sure where she is from) at my 3 o’clock. After we pulled away not much was said. Don’t you hate the silence even if for a few seconds with strangers? I mean I’m open for a conversation about anything with anyone but how do you break the ice is the question? You only get one shot and mess it up they’ll be the wiser about ya.
“It’s better to be silent and let them think you’re a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt” -Mark Twain (way before my time but merits truth)
So here we are, there is a point to all this if your still reading, riding on this train, all of us with different reasons. The two Aussie started talking to each other about the day they had and how they were glad to be moving on and what not. They did seem down to earth and after a few minutes I said something, I can’t remember what and who cares but just wanted to break the ice. Well one thing led to another topic and so forth and after a few minutes we knew each other by name, home of living, what our travel plans were and what we had done. Mind you the old lady just sitting there not saying a word. Mike and Pete were doing the whole Europe thing for a summer, a trip I had much envy of and wish I could have done when I was 19 or something. Both lived in Sydney and were ½ way through there vacation. We shared had a lot in common and started telling each other what funny stuff had happened or what we saw that was cool.
Mike and Pete were starving and said they had to get something to eat but were low on money. They had spent more then they should have at there last stop and were trying to save money for Prague. But like most backpackers you just ain’t got a whole lot to spend and you’re always budgeting to keep in line for your duration. Well they bought some cheap cheap train food that was suppose to be a hotdog and a hamburger but look more like a piece of jerky slapped between two pieces of cardboard. For me I just wanted a beer. You can never go wrong with a beer on a train or airplane!
So after they got there food I got up and went to get my liquid meal. I ordered Heineken, it taste like crap in the states but is GREAT in Europe. I think they ship the bad stuff to America figuring they’ll never know difference, just a theory. When I went to pay for it though the guy handed me two. Trying to remember what one was in French I said no just one, then he nodded and kept handing me two. After about 5 minutes of me trying to explain in my bad French that I just wanted one beer I found out that it was HAPPY HOUR!! And who said the French weren’t nice?? So now I have two beers and knew that Mike and Pete didn’t get anything to drink so I bought one more. So I went back and gave them both one knowing they were tight on money and had been that guy before. I would have offered one to the old lady but thought she was already dead as she hadn’t moved the entire trip… was kind of freaky in a way but maybe she was into that zen stuff and was finding her happy spot???
Well after we had a few more laughs telling funny stories about what had happened on our trips we all noticed we were empty on beer. Mike said he could go for another one and stated that he would get next round. Funny how that happens when one overcomes financial problems in a few minutes after a beer.
Long story short we stopped in Brussels and the old lady got off. I’m not sure it was even her stop but we had started drinking round after round and were getting louder and louder. She was either pissed or had found that happy spot… will never know. So ½ through the trip we still had 2 hrs to go and decided why stop now. The picture above is what the table looked like when we were pulling into Amsterdam. I think we all had about 6-8 beers a piece and I was feeling great and ready to rock. Pete was meeting his Great Great Aunt that he had never seen before and was going to be drunk.
That was one of the best train rides I have ever had to take and I only share this with you because it was just a short few hours on a train with three complete strangers. I still keep in contact with Pete since then and plan on making my first trip to Oz soon and will kick back a couple more beers when I do with him. Cool guys and this is what I love about traveling. You never know what will happen and meet some of the best people in the strangest ways.
Welcome to my VT site and if you ever want to drink a Heineken let me know….
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