The bus, the train and Terence Hill

6 July 2011

I’ve been itching to write this post since I have been back from my adventurous journey … But then, it was a long and exhausting trip and two days’ rest were in order (along with sorting out our lives in Lyon, things like enrolling Linus for lycée, spending a lot of time with Lucy who had missed me, grocery shopping, the usual) I finally got back home early Saturday evening, having set out from Graz about 22pm the previous day. While other people travel to the opposite side of the planet during that time, I made a mere 1200km journey. But it was good, particularly the time on the bus. I will ignore the night on the train from Graz to Zurich — this was awful, I hardly slept, and because I was so tired in the morning, I became somewhat clumsy. First I spilled coffee all over my clean T-shirt, then I broke the knife I was buttering my bread roll with… The girls I was travelling with (they were colleagues from my seminar who happened to travel on the same train, but first class, and who had thus had a much better night) just laughed their heads off — so I decided to lean back not do a thing for the remainder of the journey. It definitely felt safer that way. The coach experience was much better than the train journey. This time I was on a bus headed for Portugal, full of lively Portuguese travelling home for the summer. Again, a Mexican girl and I were the only other nationals on the bus. But I prefer Portugal on wheels to Romania on wheels, I think. The drivers were cheerful and chatty (we talked briefly in a wild mix of Portuguese, French, English and German), they did not charge people extra for their luggage, instead they provided entertaining: At first, very emotionally charged Portuguese love songs to which some people were singing along 🙂 and then they put on the classic Spaghetti Western My name is Nobody with Terence Hill and Henry Fonda. While I don’t normally watch this kind of thing, it added to the atmosphere on the bus, and getting a glimpse of Terence Hill was okay too — I think he used to be pretty easy on the eye back in the 70s and he knows how to pull funny faces too :). Above all my journey on the bus was an interesting experience of intercultural differences between, in this case, Romanians and Portuguese. I guess I could make a lot of this if I were an anthropologist. Alas, I am not one, so I just watched and enjoyed and will definitely travel on the coach again. It’s not just cheap, you get to see lots of interesting stuff en route, my journey took me along the whole of the lake Geneva, the busses are pretty comfy nowadays with climate control and I got to travel at a pace that allowed me to arrived not just physically, but also mentally at my destination — Travelling on a plane is something that is just too fast for me, my mind always seems to linger behind and take a bit longer to arrive. The perfect travelling speed for me seems to be either walking or cycling. Anyway. I am back in Lyon. I told Lucy about my journey on the bus and now she and I are looking into travelling together. I would really fancy going to Italy… Greece might be pushing it, I think spending days and days on a bus MIGHT just take the fun out of this mode of travelling…

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