Thursday, August 30, 2012

Train To Athens

It takes five hours and twenty minutes to go from Thessaloniki to Athens, which means I have three hundred and twenty minutes to kill. The fact that I find trains particularly fascinating makes this a whole of a lot easier. I love how you can just sit, music in your ears, and wait as a whole country unfolds before your eyes.

Equally intriguing are the two locals inhabiting this six-seater two-thirds full cabin. Seat 65, there's this tanned, white-bearded, white-haired man sitting next to the window. His light grey eyes pierce through the daily newspaper, a newspaper whose headlines I can't even begin to pronounce. His bag, sitting idly by on the empty seat next to him, is the mystery of the hour. I'd like to think he's a photographer on the way to the city to make his childhood dreams come true. Open to interpretation are the wrinkles beneath his eyes. I'd like to think he's married. I think he found true love but it's not enough. Maybe he wants to tick off every bullet point on his bucket list before it's too late. Maybe now's the time for him to actually bother.

Seat 66, blue trousers, white shirt, long black-grey hair, late forties. He's been staring out the window all ride long. I wonder what he is thinking about. I wonder if there is someone he's going back to. He gives off the artist vibe, but he could very well be a businessman, too rich for his own good. His seemingly expensive watch is the only possession I'm interested in. Time goes by really slowly when you have nowhere else to be and nothing else to do.

The sun is on its way down now. Train conversations have been had, time has been killed, and Greece has been crossed, which means the city is now within reach. However, memories of the afternoon naps on the beautiful sandy beaches, the clear blue waters, the homemade sangria and the late night card games on the breezy balcony will remain.

Just like this constant itching for this life altering addiction called travelling.

(written on Wednesday, August 22, 2012)

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