The train arrived at 11:59pm at the station in Ljubljana to a surprisingly large crowd. We had all been gathered around a small flat screen tv mounted on the outside of a cafe watching a world cup game. Of course, it was going into overtime. There was an audible groan from many of the spectators, but still relieved that the train was here.
As I walked to the train doors I threw my heavy bag over my shoulders, took the steps up and started eyeing the cars. The second car I came to had only 4 people in it – two young girls, a sleeping male and an elderly woman who was reading out loud in a language I couldn’t place. Maybe she was Bavarian? I heaved my bag to the luggage rack above and sat against the wall to the hallway. The two girls looked up and smiled at me and continued talking. They had English accents, I had guessed from Manchester.
The two girls were on their gap year from high school and had been traveling through Croatia and Slovenia and were headed to Munich. They were from Manchester, beginning university in just a few weeks. They snuggled throughout the night, using each other’s weight as a pillow or a brace.
The sleeping man sat across from me slept with his cowboy hat tipped below his eyes. He had dark skin and reminded me of the native Mexicans who lived in my old hometown. I couldn’t imagine Mexicans traveling between these two countries, but I couldn’t imagine from where else he was. His tight jeans were stuffed into caramel boots and he slept like someone who worked hard during the day. He kept his bag between his legs, making it difficult for me to find a place for my long legs to stretch.
The Bavarian woman left the train with her small, colorful fabric bag and was replaced by a young boy and his father. The boy sat next to me, the father next to the window. The boy sat with his back against the seat so his short, tennis shoe topped feet extended straight out past the end of the seat. He kept his hands on the seat next to him to brace.
The sun was rising behind the rolling hills, wide-branched trees and simple houses. I was the only one still awake. I was witnessing this moment alone, it was Nature putting on it’s show for me.
We arrived in Munich at 6am – another train to the airport filled with businessmen in suits and my baggy, sleepless eyes. A three hour nap, stretched out on the seats at the gate was all the sleep I got on that journey.