An elderly woman sits across from us. She does things that seem inscrutable: cutting advertisements with a pair of tiny scissors; making notations in a date book no larger than the size of her palm; scrutinizing a brochure for youth hostels, bringing the paper close to her face, even as her glasses lie on the table in front of her. She wears pearls and a gold necklace with a cross, and her dress is the color of
Meanwhile, the green parts of
stream by; you could also be fooled into thinking the country were nothing but foliage. Foliage and graffiti, actually. Belgium
A minor kerfuffle: Matthew and I sit in a glassed-off compartment. The first Brussels-Amsterdam train was canceled, and the one an hour later is packed. We first share the compartment with a couple with a toddler daughter -- perfectly fine. When the couple disembarked at
An African-American woman (Tanya) and her husband tried to enter, but there was a misunderstanding as to how many people were coming in, who had arrived first, and what the etiquette was for ‘saving seats.’
“We’re two people,” Tanya says.
“We’re two too,” the other woman replies.
“I think you’re very ill-mannered,” Tanya says.
“I think you’re ill-mannered,” the other woman replies.
“Why are you still talking to me?”
“I’m going to ignore you now.”
Peace has been restored. Tanya writes a book proposal on her laptop: A Guide to Hating Your Government. It’s a “satire” of some sort, with a surfeit of “scare quotes.”
I preferred the toddler, drool and all.