Wednesday, August 06, 2014

By Train to Transylvania

I tugged my bag up the train steps and into the sleeper carriage in the Budapest railway station. It was empty save for me. But there were six seats.

"I wonder who will join me."

I found out shortly, when a family of five Germans trundled in. The little kids were adorable and squeaky, and of course a family is preferable to many options.

It wasn't long before it all became annoying. Everyone was stripping down for bed and tossing their clothes on the floor. I climbed up to my top bunk and huddled, sweating in the stifling heat. Mutti had covered the vents with cushions because she'd been cold.

The night was long and restless, as the train stopped and started across the frontier.

Knock knock. "Hungarian border police!" Okay, okay. We'd all show our travel documents and pretend to sleep for half an hour, and then the next knock. "Romanian border! Passports!"

At six in the morning, I climbed carefully down from my perch to the pile of clothing below. I gently moved aside a stuffed shark so I could pull my luggage out. I had to dig for my shoes, by which time I'd quit trying to be quiet. If the family didn't want me to make noise, maybe they shouldn't have scattered their crap all over the floor.

I left the cabin and went to stand by the door. My stop—Sighasoara, Transylvania—was next.

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