Okay don’t laugh but last week I got on a train for the first time. Like a real high-speed train.I was going to Nice from Marseille to visit my aunt. Sadly, I feel asleep on that train because I had stayed up the night before packing. I’m on a two-week “winter break” from school. So all the North Americans are traveling to various places. I and “the girls from Howard” planned quite a trip. I would say we are backpacking Europe but that wouldn’t be quite accurate.
So after visiting my aunt in Nice, I was headed to Pisa, Italy – our first stop. So begins my first train ride that I didn’t fall asleep on.
From Nice to Ventimiglia (the border between France and Italy) was quite beautiful. The sun was still out so I could take pictures of the Mediterranean
When I got to Ventimiglia, I had about an hour before my next train left. So I left the station and walked down to the beach, a five-minute walk. It was so beautiful. I loved the little buildings towering on top of each other.
So I get on the next train to Genova and I meet a woman that spoke English and was also going to Genova (transit station to Pisa). She explained how there had been an accident two months ago and so we would have to make some transits to another station. Book in my hand, I felt what I imagined Gogol’s father, Ashoke, looked like in The Namesake.
Now I’m on the next train (it was a long day) still to Genova and just my luck these two loud Italian boys get on the train and one sits right across from me! In spite of my attempt to sit alone by placing my bag in the middle of the aisle.
Now this is where it gets interesting. After he gets off the phone, he says something to me in Italian and I explain to him I don’t speak Italian. But he didn’t understand until his friend noticed my book and shouted English!
I thought that would be the end but no. He was determined to talk to me. And much thanks to Google Translate that was possible *oh yay* (sarcasm). First the obligatory questions: what’s your name, where you from, how old are you? Unlike me, I actually entertained it. Quite frankly cause it was entertaining. After all, I will be on this train for another 2 hours.
I jokingly told him he should learn English and he asked me about my book (Half of a Yellow Sun). So back and forth we went with Google Translate. Until he asked if I was engaged. I literally laughed out loud. I responded yes but that didn’t stop him from asking for my number which was easier than usual to decline considering I didn’t have to lie about not having a [n Italian] phone. He proceeded to ask if I had Facebook. I outright declined that but I did admire his persistence.
The conversation took a slow decline after that until he got off the train about half an hour later.
This post is already pretty long so I won’t bore you all with the rest of my train experience though tiring, was exciting.
During my last layover meet two American girls in Genova. One was LITERALLY BACKPACKING Europe. Much props to her and her huge backpack. Her friend was visiting.
So now I’m finally in Pisa waiting in the hostel lobby. Let’s see how these next two weeks turn out…