Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trainspotting

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Similar to airports, train stations serve as excellent places to people watch. Even if you do not have a train to catch. Or especially if you do not have a train to catch. Time becomes of minimal importance, and you can truly get lost in the stories to make up about strangers. You can fully develop answers to questions like Who are they? Where are they going? Why are they going there? Maybe he is in the CIA? Maybe she is going to visit family or friends? Maybe he is heading towards a lover's rendezvous? Maybe she is moving to an entirely different place, starting an entirely different chapter of her life? What are they seeking and heading toward? What are they escaping and leaving behind?


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With this man, maybe he is simply purchasing a ticket to no particular place. He is simply escaping the city of Prague for a day, for a weekend, for a week. He has had enough of the flooding and the rain and the grey and the bitter cold that is unusual for spring. And so, he searches the map, scans the train routes and thinks that he better head south. Toward warmer, temperate climates. Toward Italy and vineyards. Toward Croatia and white houses lining the seaside, similar to Greek. Or maybe he just wants to escape the city limits, head to Pilsen and drink some beer at the brewery. Drown his sorrows at the brewery. Or just have one beer.


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And finally, this lady. Is she purchasing sexy calendars of near naked men? Or maybe she is purchasing a calendar of beautiful women? But actually, as exciting this may sound, I believe that she is purchasing the exact opposite. This woman seemed to be glancing around the children's section of a local book/magazine stand here at the Prague train station. She may be purchasing picture books for her own children, for cousins, for nieces and nephews, for brothers and sisters. The questions will always stand unanswered; where is she going, who is she going to see, and why is she leaving the city of Prague?

Train stations are remarkable places.