Five hours on the superfast intercity train and I met the whole world, well almost.
Across from me there was a very tall, very blond transvestite with a very tiny and very white dog who had a separate seat reservation. Transvestite spent four hours carefully gluing spangled sequins on a party hat and making phonecalls to Schatzi in Vienna, in between hugging and talking to dog. Gorgeous, the two of them.
Then there was the family of five, all of them deaf and involved in silent card games and sign language conversations and silent laughter. I admit that I watched in awe and I hope they didn't notice me gawking.
Next to me the budding tenor who gave me tips on how to sing properly (apparently what you need to do is wipe all expressions from your face and let go of any feelings of embarrassment or self conscience) while flashing his sheets of Schubert Lieder and Mendelssohn's Elias around. He was nice enough to talk to but when he went on and on about how hilarious (yes, hilarious!) Goethe's Faust really is and how he is reading it for the 6th time just for fun (oh please!), the words pompous and twat started to form in my mind and for fear of letting them slip out I pretended to read, which I cannot do on trains because I get sea sick. But Caruso was adamant and so I was given the list of famous but obviously useless tenors, incl. their various flaws and bad habits, and hence we were able to conclude that the world must be waiting for him.
And so we raced on through the dark rainy evening and miraculously, I arrived dead on time. Dinner was waiting.