train stories from tuesday

with the weather back to dimsal and chilly, the people who would normally be dispersed over the vast landscape that is berlin have all returned to seek shelter in train stations.

morning. a teacher and chaperone are taking a class on a school trip somewhere. the oohs and aahs at the views from the U1 peak and valley until some seats free up. 4 little girls scramble up onto the seats and manage to turn themselves the right way round. setzen sich normal, reminds the chaperone. once they are in a row, they start singing and swaying. a strangely unmelodic version of the smurfs theme song. over and over and over and over and over again until wittenbergplatz. the smurfette quartet was cute the first time but i was happy to hear ok Schtroumpfis time to get off!

early evening.
the requisite xenophobic homeless man turned CDU supporter. wir haben genug ausländer in deutschland he shouts in front of the burger king in Alex.

later that evening. an older woman sitting on the stairs at one of the Rosethalerplatz exits. she looks like some violent fatal disease is slowly eating her up from the inside. as i try to walk by to avoid any interaction, she opens her eyes wider and emits a gravely, burpish sounding noise. at first it startled me, then my brain finally reconstructed the cacaphony i just heard back into syllables and i understood: es regnet. she was trying to tell me it was raining. i was hoping this wasn’t a service in trial version from the BVG. i kept thinking of the weather frog (Wetterfrosch) and what one sounds like.

on the way home. obviously it was going to be a train-theme for the day. so the best came last. the grey and straggly haired man with shopping bags abound looked like he had been drinking from the open wine bottle in his hand. a good assumption since he was having a very loud conversation with a non-existant person. his close neighbors pretended like this was not happening, staring straight ahead, looking like catatonics that had been released from the same asylum as the loud talking dude. at alex, someone complained to the conductor who came into the car and gave the man a big SSSSSSSSSSSSHHH sign. then two blue-suited officers stepped on board as we waited for train service to resume.

(following convo in german & english cuz i’m too lazy to get either right)

Sir, would you mind stepping outside for a minute?


People are complaining that you are bothering them.

Who is bothered? no one is bothered. no, that’s him. er hat mich angemacht.

what? who?

der Typ. er hat mich angemacht.

welcher Typ denn?

Der Typ der ist ausgegangen.

yea ok let me see your ticket.

reality must have started seeping in because he started packing up his bags and put the plastic cork back in his bottle, following the officers onto the platform. they probably should have taken the catatonic lady with them too.


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