09/11/2005: "trans. europe. express."
Went on a quick jaunt to Dresden for the weekend--it's only about a two-hour drive from Berlin--and thought ah, what the hell, I'm so close to the Czech border I might as well catch a train over there. I narrowly grabbed the last train of the day from Dresden to Prague. A mere two-hour journey, according to the exacting German train timetables. We got to the border--a small town called Schoena--and the train suddenly stopped. The conductor said nothing. For two hours, we sat at the border. What the hell? German trains are supposed to be immer punktlich, damn it! Anyway, all of us in the train were wondering what was up. Tick tock tick tock....then we heard that the engine was out of order. I suddenly began to despise the beautifully futuristic German train system. Its swooping curves and gleaming promises of Kraftwerkesque efficiency? Lies, I tell you! Lies! But then--a bunch of train workers in blue overalls raced into the train and brought a new engine with them! "They are replacing the locomotive. The train will move shortly," said the conductor solemnly, in a hilarious 'We are the robots' monotone. And he was right! Soon, we were gliding away, smoothly and effortlessly, into the Czech Republic. I somehow can't imagine that ever happening with Amtrak.
I'm thinking about starting a blog about trains. Ha. Back in Berlin soon.