Sunday, 3 August 2014

People You Meet On The Train. Or Finding Your Happy Place.

[oh, sod it. I need a cup of tea to write this post]

Have you ever thought about the people you see on trains? The people you might actually meet on a train? I believe I have mentioned the word train in the majority of the post scribbled down this summer, but why not? Trains are the perfect place for people-watching. A train is the perfect place to invent a story or to hear the tales lived and experienced.

For instance, on the train that leaves Tumba (yes, the place is called that) at 6.38 every morning, there is a Polish girl who looks like Marilyn Monroe. I know she is Polish because she speaks the language. Now, these two facts are quite interesting on their own. Now, how often do you bump into a person who looks like Marilyn? And the Polish? Well, it's good for us notorious eavesdroppers. This girls is a mishmash of mystery, roughness and kindness. Alluring. She works with a man who thinks that she should dress up more, be more feminine, like the women in his country.

A while back, while we were still living in Slovakia and Hungary was the #1 choice for our weekend-trips, my boyfriend and I had a near-death experience. You know how Europeans like to think themselves educated and open-minded and so on? Well, at that time a couple of European girls clearly proved this statement to be false. Yes, there is a country between Hungary and the Czech Republic (must be, because these two countries don't share a border), no, there will not be a passport control. Not even in Prague. No. Yes, please, take a look at that map. And no worries, we will not be taking a detour through Austria.

And today. We were on our way back from the city centre, a Spanish girl and I, when the man next to her started telling her his life story. In soft but quick Spanish he spoke, his nose was big and his greyish blue eyes were tired. I will not repeat the awful things that may happen to you if you live in Colombia, but this man had lived and seen them all. After some twists and turns bestowed upon him by fate, he had ended up in Sweden. And he was far from happy. He wanted to go back to Colombia. This short encounter only raised more questions than it provided answers. And it reminded about a conversation we had earlier this week.

Is there any hope? I look at the world and wonder if there is any hope. Really, is there? People get shot and killed, the ones living in more secure places queue for an apartment for 10 years (welcome to Stockholm) and start queuing for a suitable old peoples' home when they are born. Or at least their insightful parents put them in that queue. People who get pregnant suddenly notice that they are expected to start their shift at 3 p.m. Politicians are proud when they participate in the PRIDE parade but have little to say how to solve the real issues that are chewing our society apart. And you have all the women and men and young people with wrinkled faces who have travelled across Europe to beg for money. And we talk so much: should they be here or should they not? Should we give them a few of our coins or should we not? How very rude of them to try to take our half-full bottles and cans from our hands. But what is the solution? Is there a solution? And at the end of the day, who is responsible for this mess when people no longer have their human value?

And then we have to sad and the ill. People who kill themselves in mental hospitals and people who, at the fine age of 31, do not find a single thing to live for. Because they are not what they are expected to be, and they don't have what they are expected to have. And life did not turn out the way it was supposed to. And it's so easy to tell them to keep on fighting, to go and see someone, to talk about it.

And some people complain about the weather. Two months ago it was too cold, now it's too warm. Guess what, soon it's winter.

And I'm a wee bit ashamed when I admit that I am happy. I am happy with my books, and my pen, my notebook and walks in the sunshine. I love the feeling of being surrounded by salty sea water, and I adore the feeling of new, strange, foreign words on my tongue. And the taste of chili peppers. And I feel that maybe, just maybe, the world might be a bit easier when it's simplified. And a little more love does not make the world a worse place, does it? 

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