Posted on February 28, 2012 by

The Trans-crazy Rail

American? What are you doing here?
My last night in Rome was spent at the main train station. Well, for at least a couple hours I read and people watched. I had booked an overnight train to Geneva via Milan the second I stepped foot in Rome on Friday night. The Whirlwind Weekend has not just been extremely daunting on my body, but at times it’s been tough on the bank account as well. Due to this I figured a non-sleeper compartment would be find for the 7 hours to Milan! Next time I’m going to spring for the bed. Six people sitting sort of straight up in their seats for that long rolling cold night isn’t the most comfortable event. I felt like I’d stumbled into some movie, possibly a Wes Anderson piece. The train pulled into Rome already packed with a number of passengers. I found my compartment already loaded with a dude asleep at the door, two African men and a small woman from somewhere in Eastern Europe. Now, add in another Italian and myself – oh what a party.

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My eyes creeped open once and awhile throughout the ride. I had a brief moment of happiness when the train made a short stop and upon opening my eyes I saw the station sign, Bologna. I was over half way there! The little old woman was the funniest because she spoke some english and sort of made a silent pact with me during the ride. She eventually asked me where I was from. The best part was her statement/question, “why are you here?” Yes, a random young American traveling in 2nd class non-sleeper departing Rome at almost midnight on a Sunday. I understood why this seemed odd to her. She accepted the situation and then asked if I could help her. In the back of my mind I was a little scared. This woman has the potential to ask me literally anything! She pulled out a cell phone and showed me the small screen. “Is it good?” she asked. The screen said “I will take you.” Great, now a shitload of questions went racing through my head. I told her that it was good and politely asked how it related. “Ummm, it is, doctor” she said. I stopped her there and said okay. I don’t think I needed to know anymore and I could tell it was certainly something personal.

A little before 7am we pulled into Milano Centrale, my favorite train station on the planet. I had about an hour or so to hang, try to freshen up a little and grab a coffee before my next train to Geneva. Thankfully the next train was a sexy newer high speed Swiss beauty. Also, out of the four seats facing each other, it was just me and another guy. We got a little caught up somewhere in the Alps, so a short delay was added to the trip. But, at the end of it I made it to the final country on my journey.