13. the night train to Florence

we took the night train to Florence
a twelve hour journey

the train stopped
it was still dark
I looked out my window
heard people talking
saw the cherry of a mans cigarette

they were on strike
we were near Venice
I was concerned
no worries she said, it was common

three hours later the train started moving
how bizarre

finally the next morning
we arrived in Florence

10. the train to Vienna

day turned into night
people came and people left
the sound was hypnotic
ta-tum, ta-tum, ta-tum, ta-tum

I couldn’t sleep
night turned into day
ta-tum, ta-tum, ta-tum, ta-tum
I had to brush my teeth

hauled my luggage to the toilet
warm water and a small metal sink
barely enough room to wash my face

looked at my watch
still hours away

finally the train pulled into Vienna
got off with luggage in tow
I started to recognize fragments of German

found a cab
showed him the address to her school
in minutes we were there
I had just enough schillings to cover my fare

she was surprised and excited to see me
I was two days early

9. a touch of class

the compartment was cozy
big cushy leather reclining seats
friendly travel mates
and a window seat

it was perfect
that is until the conductor came by
I was sitting in first class
my ticket was coach
he made me leave my cushy seat

I got off the train
luggage in tow
started down the platform
way down the platform

showed my ticket again
still more down the platform
finally I found coach
and after being in first class
it kind of sucked

stowed my luggage
tried to get comfortable
the seats were hard
it was going to be a long day