Some of you might know that I wrote on my Twitter that I had the worst and funniest train ride ever. I thought it would be worthy of a blog, since you all wanted to know more and Twitter is kind of limited.
On the 4th of November, the Epicans went to Amsterdam to apply for an American visa for our upcoming tour in the US. The way to Amsterdam was without any delays. Mark and I were going there by car.
I had to take the train back from Amsterdam because I wanted to meet with a friend of mine. Going up and down to Amsterdam for 30 minutes at the consulate is a lot of traveling. I have three cousins living in Amsterdam and a couple of friends. Whenever I am in Amsterdam I try to meet them.
My friend and I went to 'Bagels and Beans' to get a bite to eat. We both took a bagel with omelette, an Earl Grey tea and a fruit juice. We were asked after our order if we wanted to order more, because they were closing in 30 minutes. After finishing our bagels, we went to another typical Amsterdam cafe to get a piece of apple pie and a hot chocolate. I love those real Amsterdam cafe's. They are so cozy.
After talking for 3 hours it was time for me to go back. I was planning to take the 21.08 train back but was already at the train station at 20.30. There would have been a train going back home at 20.38 but it was delayed. I still needed to buy a train ticket and unfortunately missed that train. Then all the drama started. The 21.08 train was not arriving due to 'logistic problems' in Utrecht. There were not going any trains to Utrecht for that time being. They advised us to travel to Rotterdam and change trains in Amsterdam Bijlmer. When all the travelers changed tracks they announced that there are trains going to Utrecht again from another track. I have never seen so many people squeezed together to get on a train. We were like a big group of hamsters piled onto each other.
Around 22.00 we arrived in Utrecht Centraal. I was not sure when my connection train would be and luckily arrived at the right track. There was almost no place to stand anymore and lots of people came from Schiphol and just wanted to get home. The 22.08 train was delayed for another 20 minutes. The people at Utrecht Centraal were waiting there since 20.00. A guy from another track across was making photos of the huge line of people.
When the train finally arrived we were all cheering. Now the real fighting for a spot in the train started. We were not sure if there was another train coming so we all wanted to get on this train. People which wanted to get off the train almost couldn't get out. I don't like these masses of total chaos which are created because everybody thinks about themselves. If we would help each other it would go faster than when we all just do what we want for ourselves.
The group of people where I was standing with was really nice. It varied from young boys to a sweet older couple around there 70's. Normally nobody would talk to each other in a train, but because we were all so close to one another we kind of bonded. We talked about so many different things and had good laughs, but also serious moments. When the topic 'someone threw himself in front of a train' started, the older woman told us that she knew how horrible it is because her sister committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. The mood was down for a bit. What can you say to each other when someone throws such an emotional and deeply saddening knowledge in to a group of complete strangers? I always have some candy with me, and decided to share it with my group of travelers. Something like this does soften the mood.
There was one girl from the UK (I believe, not sure). She was on a quest to find a bath room. I needed to go since 2 hours but since I didn't know when my train would arrive I decided to wait. She couldn't get through the mass of people and came back after one minute. I told her I really needed to pay a visit myself so we then went together. When you gotta go, you gotta go. The stairs were so crowded that we almost needed to crowd surf. I had to hold on to her because the train was shaking so badly. I didn't want to end up on other people's lap.
As we passed several cities the train was slowly getting empty. Every time the train stopped a little fresh breeze of air came inside.
In the end there were only 3 of us. A younger girl, which went to many festivals and a young Egyptian man. We exchanged also a lot of funny stories and I really had a good time. When you are in a situation like this you can get totally aggravated, or try to make the best out of it.
The younger girl asked me if I was the singer of Epica, by any chance. She recognized me, but didn't want to ask me, with a train full of people. Funny that she recognized me because my hair was a mess and I was not looking like my normal self. The rain, wind and my funny umbrella totally messed up my hair and make up, but I didn't care. I think we all just wanted to get home.
What started as one of the worst trips, ended up in a cozy gathering with total strangers, with whom we shared a little piece of ourselves with.