- On the train destined for Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 1, 2008.
By Christopher Wink | Oct 23, 2008 | WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com
You take trains from big cities to other big cities. Lands, untold by tour books and unseen by sloppy tourists like yourself, unfold beneath your high carriage of jet setting: two months, 10 cities 3,000 miles wide and two or three days deep.
You are riding great dividers of place and time, laughing at great empires of history. Slicing corridors of culture. Other trains pass with silent screams at 70 miles per hour. You mull issues of personal importance and navigate narrow bathrooms.
There’s the old story of the boy who took a train and came back a man. No great story of accomplishment or adventure, but stalking late-night cars and toeing empty rail yards. Sleeping with a bag in his lap until he wanted someone to know him again. Until he learned who is chasing whom.
Continue reading Notes on seeing Europe from a train
By Christopher Wink | Oct. 8, 2008 | WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com
Worlds – yes, disparate worlds – come to some form of a cross-section in red-eyed, late nights in train stations.
Early Tuesday morning, we were doing that, surfing the intersection of the young and the acutely itinerant – being reminded of the sociological difference between situational and generational poverty.
We, three, were in a 24-hour coffee shop just before 1 A.M., waiting on a 6 A.M. train. A security guard recommended the spot, a few modern chairs off to the side where people buy cups of foam and cream. A young man, a year or two my junior, sat beside me, tapping his foot and twitching in his chair, regularly, if subtly. The kind of movements you might expect at 1 A.M. in a late-night train station coffee shop.
Continue reading The boy in the train station coffee shop