I’ve taken to commuting very early in the morning from Halle to my school. The trip is an ideal opportunity to get some reading done, or just zone out and think. I was actually looking forward to it a bit. I could just sit on the train go into zombie-mode and only worry if the odd passenger caught me drooling again.
I’ve realized I’m cursed though. Maybe it’s just my heightened annoyance in the early morning or after working, but I’m pretty sure that every annoying and loud person in Germany flocks to the nearest seat they can find as soon as I sit down. You think I might be over-exaggerating, but I’m not. Every time I get on a train the car is completely empty. I set up camp and start to drool, read, or some combination of both, and just when I get comfortable I hear the train doors open (“pshhhhhht”) and know my fate is sealed.
Usually, I’ll get the kids who haven’t learned to control their volume yet. They’ll sit next to me and shout in my general direction to make sure I hear them. I’ll look up to acknowledge them and they’ll shoot me a death look and then make fun of my ‘not so hip’ outfit. I’ll cry one tear and then go back and try to read some more.
On the extra lucky days I’ll get a cougher. This person has become infected with some horrible virus, but refuses to acknowledge it. They’ll sneak up behind slowly and I won’t notice them until they hack up half their lung all over me. They’ll pause and recover, and the process repeats itself every five minutes.
I’m looking for that blissful train ride that I keep imagining in my head, but it has yet to appear. I’ll let you know if this myth ever comes to fruition.