Friday, December 7, 2012

Once in a lifetime, part deux.



I’ve put that photo up there again,  just to point out the BK sign over on the left.  This was where we “ate” during our stop over on the Wednesday night in Munich.  I’m using quotation marks in reference to the concept of eating.   I mean, it was 10 o’clock at night,  we hadn’t had supper,  and we needed something.  Well, at least I did.

Let me just put it this way,  it’s been maybe 25 years since the last time that I bellied up to the bar at a Burger King,  and it will quite possibly be at least another 25 before I do that again.   I was hungry, so I ate my Whopper,  and we both “ate” for around €10,  but still,  what a tasteless lump of sh*t that was.  Gah!

Sucks when you forget.


Anyway,  on with the show,  and this is yet another example of how it sucks when you forget.


The last time I took a “night train”  was in the latter part of June of 1979 when I had to get back to Amsterdam from Freiburg. (something to do with a cheaper flight)  It was a train that left at 11:30 at night and got into the central station in Amsterdam the next morning at something like 7:00.    Don’t quote me,  that was a long time ago.   I couldn’t afford any kind of a berth of course,  so I just had a regular seat.   I suppose I must have slumped over and slept at some point,  but I mean,  I was all of 22.   I don’t really recall that much of that trip,  so I guess it must have been fine.  I slept,  right?

Right along with that,  I also recall having a very comfortable sleep in some farmer’s field just outside of Freiburg once upon a time.   It’s amazing where you can sleep when you’re full of youth and exuberance,  or quite possibly inebriated.  But let’s not get too far off course here.

So I didn’t quite realise just what we were in for.


There was a time,  many many years ago,  when I had the experience of working in a fish and chips store.  And no,  I haven’t lost my mind here,  we’re still talking about our train trip.

What I discovered was,  there was this potato peeler,  that was basically a big drum that spun around,  you threw in the potatoes, they’d get jostled about in there for a time,  and off came their peels!  There was some water involved,  but that’s not important.  It was awesome.


Well, that’s more or less what happened with Travelling Companion and her pyjama bottoms!   I mean, there was no “drum” involved,  but man did we get jostled!  I have no idea how anyone is supposed to sleep on these “night trains”.   Honest to Pete!   Was it that bumpy the last time?  Even if I did remember,  we tend to react differently to situations as the years go by, (when things start to hurt,  of course) so maybe remembering wouldn’t have helped.  I did remember to take along some acetaminophen.   I ain’t that dumb.


In my case,  I made sure I was wearing and took along my “good” underwear with the still operable elastic waist bands,  so I didn’t have any issues.  And no,  Bob doesn’t wear PJs.    I ended up trying to wedge the blanket around either side of my ass,  so as to try and dampen some of the movement,  but that was only of the slightest help.  


Here,  Travelling Companion is attempting to brush her teeth in the tiny sink,  in the tiny corner of our tiny berth.



There was no actual room to stand up while attempting this function,  but sitting didn’t quite work either.



Fun times!


You have also understand that,  we just laugh about this stuff.   There’s no point in being miserable,  although I might have been getting a little testy the next day after not having much sleep at all,  but there was always our hotel room where we could recuperate.   Besides, once T.C.’s knees have had enough,  that’s it,  we’re done.   So I just have to last longer than her knees.  Not a challenge.

If there had perhaps been some decent pillows,  maybe that would have helped,  but let’s not get carried away.  I think I’ve said my piece.


Pining for the wide open spaces?


OK,  I know I “said my piece”,  but here’s another one.   I figured since we’d have this time to evaporate on the train,  and in case I indeed couldn’t sleep,  that I’d take a book along.  Good plan, right?

I have to shamefully admit that I’m not an avid reader, part of the reason for which is that I tend to nod off.

Well, so much for the book reading plan.  Can you figure out how I would possibly be able to see a book with my head directly in the way of the reading light?



I’m not much of a one for reading on my stomach,  so I couldn’t quite understand the function of that lamp at all.  If it had only been just a little farther up…

Such a clever design.




Forgot to mention.  That was our tiny breakfast in our tiny….OK,  never mind.

Oh,  and in that cabin,  there was a tiny table.   It was sort of affixed to the wall,  and then you took it down and set it up in the morning.  (It had two tiny legs)

On the way back,  we had a slightly different cabin (same tiny size)  which did NOT have a table. 

In that arrangement,  the tiny sink was closer to the doorway.  It’s behind that bulbous looking contraption there on the left,  behind which there’s a mirror and such.


That was actually a better layout, as I was able to put our luggage over in the far corner,  out of the way.   There was a two holed flip down thingy behind us where we could put our coffees.   It kinda had sharp edges,  so you didn’t really want to lean back.


In that video from yesterday, it does indeed look like it’s a smooth trip.   Well,  that’s only on the long straightaways.   We were probably doing about 150 in that video,  maybe a bit more.   Hard to tell.

It’s when you get into the rail yards for the stops that it get wobbly.  Plus of course,  the train joins up and then separates on at least a couple occasions.   There was one point in the night when I had to stagger back to the loo,  when I was quite surprised to see a locomotive hooked up directly behind where I took that video later in the morning.   I think that was the part that later unhooked and went on to Hamburg.  

So imagine this,  you’re nicely drifting off to sleep (for the umpteenth time) as the train is slowing down and pulling into one of the stops, and you think,  “Oh man, this is wonderful…”.   Everything is nice and quiet, you’ve taken enough acetaminophen to deaden the hip pain,  then the train stops,  which means it has to lurch of course!   But that’s OK!  It’s OK.  You’re still drifting…  and then *wham*  they hook up an engine and a string of cars.   *moan*

Ya.  Like that.

All  f….g night.


So I think you’ve figured out the answer to the burning question concerning the “Once in a lifetime”.  No more night trains for us,  thanks.


Bonus points if you counted how many times I said “tiny”,  not that I know or care.





It’s a glorious sunny day here in Wienerland, even though it’s still a little freakin’ cold.  It’s OK, really.  It’s winter.  I just have to suck it up.   A week today we’ll be on a plane bound for Toronto.   Tomorrow we “pack”.    We’re talking serious sh*t here kids,  we haven’t been home in a year and a half.   There be items to take.

I’ll have the scales handy.


Enjoy your weekend if I don’t check in.


Thanks for lookin’.





  1. I love the Pining photo.

    This post is a hoot to read. So sorry that I am getting a laugh at your expense, but I can just image what you two went through. Oh dear!

  2. Hey, it was fun. Really. We just kept saying, "Well, it's an adventure!"

  3. Thank you for my first laugh of the day, you are so entertaining. Your story reminds me of why it is easier to travel when we are younger and "sucks" when we get a certain age.

  4. Ok Bob, it is good to be home so I can get my daily dose of laughter. Yes, tiny tiny chuckles, all alone here in the office reading your blog. Tiny.

  5. Did that once in India, we had to turn over together, such a tiny tiny bed for 2.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.