TRAVEL DIARY: TRAIN PAIN THE SEQUEL

Now featuring even more pain!

Sardines are funny little creatures. They’ve always grossed me out, I still remember as a kid my grandmother trying to open the can while wrestling with one of those old school can openers. You know the ones without the plastic bits. The ones that mean real can-opening business.

Anyway, I used to look at those sardines, vaguely staring open-eyed almost smiling while crammed together in a tinned sea of their oily, partly-natural, juices.
I am just like that right now. It’s 1:35am and I am somewhere between Dijon, France and Paris. I wish I could say I was having a grand time but right now, you see, I can barely feel my legs, my arms or any other emotion for that matter. I’m writing this on my iPhone which I’m holding straight in the air because I’m currently wedged between a wall, a benchseat and my giant hard suitcase.
If you haven’t guessed already I am of course experiencing the wonders of a budget European sleeper carriage for the very first time.
So, if you’ve never been in one before, let me indulge you in the details. Or maybe lack thereof? The sleeper cell, sorry, room, features six seats, three on either side of an incredibly teeny tiny compartment you’d be forgiven for thinking was designed by Mattel. Those seats somehow transform via some sort of European witchcraft into sleeper ‘beds’ but the only bed I can think this might have been modelled off is a park bench.
There’s a lower bunk. A middle bunk and a top bunk. Put six people in one small area then add suitcases and from the outside it probably looks like some sort of human club sandwich, except nowhere near as delicious.
So it’s here, stuck between a Samsonite and a hard place, that I’m writing this entry. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the 9.5 hour trip in this position or if perhaps I do I’m sure my joints will crystallize and lock into some sort of scary position that will turn me into a national tourist attraction and get me a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor.
Truth be told it’s not completely and utterly terrible. And yes I realise I sound like a massively entitled whiner complaining about my holiday. It’s soul-destroying to a degree, yes, but to get me through the rest of the trip I thought of it as crashing on the couch of a friends place. Except your friends place is rocking and moving all over the place and, oh there’s 5 strangers sleeping next to you that you’ve never seen before and well, come to think of it their couch really sucks. You really should tell them to get a new one.
As for the Sardines, when I get home, if I still have functioning limbs, I vow I’ll go buy at least five cans of them and set the poor bastards free in the ocean (or down the toilet, whichever is closer). Liberation ahoy!

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