Sunday, September 10, 2006


Last Friday I took a train from Budapest to Subotica, in Vojvodina, Serbia. This train trip reminded me of the first time I went to Hungary, in 1992, as part of my Inter-Rail tour. The trains haven’t changed much, the landscape is basically the same, the dry heat combined with the lack of air conditioning and the strange languages spoken by many of the passengers, brought memories of these days, fourteen years ago, when, together with a group of five friends whom I don’t even see for many years, I not only visited many different places, but also found out how much I enjoy travelling. I don’t travel much by train nowadays. The speed of planes and the flexibility of having one’s own car make it difficult for trains to even be considered as an option when I plan my travels. But there’s something magical about trains! Maybe the fact that the wagons have something of a house: a house that travels, together with other houses. A train is like an entire neighbourhood travelling together and, during the travel, you can even visit your neighbours! But it’s also the fact that the train stops from time to time. It gives me a sense of continuity: opposite to the planes, in which you travel from a point to another, in a train you travel along a line, with intermediate references which allow passengers to locate themselves. And then, it’s the windows. The windows of the planes are something completely useless; the windows of the trains, on the other hand, are like screens in which you can watch the movie of the trip, frame by frame. I am not sure if I am able to give at least an impression of what makes me like travelling by train so much, but the truth is that last Friday’s journey reminded me of this small pleasure and, even though the train was slow, dirty, uncomfortable, completely packed and hot as hell, and the arrival in Subotica was delayed for almost one hour, I really enjoyed my trip!


Post a Comment

<< Home