Jeremy accompanied me to Krakow before moving on to Budapest. Here is an excerpt from his email about his journey on the overnight train. This guy is cool as a cucumber in Miles Davis’s fridge. FYI for non-Aussies: knackers means nuts. You can call somebody that but only a friend or it’s pretty disrespectful, like calling someone a testicle.
I was already aware of the risk of taking a night train to or from Poland, and the stories circulating the hostel had me paranoid, as they not only included thievery, but gassing and even decapitation. But I had to take it to get directly to Budapest so I toughened myself up. The fact it was 6/6/06 didn’t help. I said bye to Dan who was heading to Warsaw and the Baltics, locked up all my stuff and was on my way. The train ride seemed fine, I had a carriage all to myself, chained my big backpack to the racks, and heard the door every time a ticket inspector or border guard opened it.About 5:45am, just before we pulled into Kosice, Slovakia, I awoke after a 2 hour sleep to find a moustachioed man had carefully pulled open my door and was now leaning over me to get a better look at my small backpack at my feet. He was about a second away from grabbing at it! (That would’ve woken me for sure – it was padlocked and strapped to my leg.)”G’day Knackers,” I said. (remember, trying to get Aussie accent back)”Sorry,” he said and backed out into the corridor. He was making signals to someone along the way, as the train pulled into the station. He stuck his head back in.”Budapest?” he asked.”Um… What is the capital of Hungary!” I jubilantly exclaimed, having never been a guest on Jeopardy before. The now very confused, slightly scared would-be thief made a hasty exit. Jeremy 1, Train Thieves 0. I sat back contentedly, but decided to remain awake for the rest of the journey.
Posted from Poland:
posted Friday March 2014