I've done a hell of a lot of travelling lately. Firstly there was the whole interraling around Europe milarky, and now I'm trundling back and forth between York and London. I know this is probably really quite clichéd, but I can't help but find it compelling that for a brief instant (or for a deathly eight hour stint, if I think of some of our trains in Europe), you're thrown together with someone, and will probably never see them again. For some reason, strangers seem to find it easier to confess things to other strangers. You might find out indepth details about thier jobs, their families, their homes. I sat next to someone on a bus the other today who proceeded to tell me how she was absolutely terrified about her upcoming holiday to Honduras, her home country, as her neice was threatened for money at gunpoint. Apparently there are murders all over the shop in Honduras. Embarrassingly, I had to look up where it is on google maps when I got home.
Sometimes, you end up next to someone a little less endearing. Who hasn't had to sit near the drunk man on the train, or the insanely annoying screaming child that makes you want to shoot yourself in the ovaries. On the train to Prague, me and Nikki got stuck in a cabin with what can only be described as the cheesiest couple known to man. They ate about four sandwiches each, smothered in cream cheese plus a layer of chedder plus a layer of brie. Everytime they got out the bread, our jaws would drop in awe. Following the monster of a cheese fest, they then proceeded to rest their bare cheesy feet on our chairs. While we were sitting on them. Strangers bare cheesy feet. Touching us. I have never been as relieved to leave a train.
But I really think it's worth making the most of those little moments, when you're literally posted next to someone you would never otherwise meet. You never know what you'll find out, who they are, what they know about. You might meet some friends for life. Or some people who're willing to make up 'lol' jokes and tell various German natives 'das hund is in der oven' (like Dan and Josh who we met on our sleeper to Budapest). Then again you might meet some cheese obsessed, mucky footed teenage lovers (one had a mullet), but I think it's worth the risk.