Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Train Travel in Tunisia

How was my phone running down so fast in Tunisia, I wondered, glancing at the screen while waiting for the train from Gabes to El Jem. At home, it keeps a charge forever.

I switched on Airplane Mode for now. (Later, I'd learn to keep the wi-fi off as it seemed to lose power from constantly seeking a signal.) Surely, there'd be a spot to charge on the train. I'd bought a first class ticket in hopes of there being a power point in each row. But just in case, I'd been fully charged when I left my hotel room on Djerba, just like I had bought a cappuccino and now picked up a croissant from the gare snack shop in case there was nothing to eat on the train. Though I'd seldom been on a train where there were no food options, even if it was a guy wandering around with a tray of snacks. 

The morning was beautiful and just the right mix of chilly and sunny, like spring at home. I'd been prepared for this weather having lived in Cairo during one "winter" some years back, but I probably needed to have brought along a thin fleece for the chillier moments.

I exited the station and walked over to the train outside on the tracks. Through all my trips abroad, I've learned not to judge the interior of the train by the exterior, but even so, the outside looked pretty worn. Still...I'd been on great trains in Egypt and Morocco that were nothing special on the outside. I pulled myself up onto a weatherbeaten car with a giant number 1 on the side.

I found a seat that didn't fall back when I sat down on its worn, plush, teal cushioning.

I laughed at myself now. Sure, a place to charge a phone. Had I just started traveling yesterday? Ha. I wondered what the cars with the number twos on the outside looked like inside.

Well, I guess if the train got me from here to El Jem, that would be enough.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Better to travel by train than by bus.