Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hamsterdam

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.

Love,
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37 comments

  1. I think there's song material in this story! :)

    Glad everything went OK in the end.

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  2. lovely story :) Glad you got home savely ;) Being a foreigner in Japan i sometimes get talked to in trains as well, and mostly the people are really nice to me :)

    i also love how talking to complete strangers can turn out as a friendship! at least that's what happend to me at concerts quite some times now ;)

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  3. Aaaw, you need to get the best of those situations, it always end up in a great way! (:

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  4. I really love the way you write and the way you watch and live everything...more people should be like this :D
    Glad thet everything went ok in the end!!

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  5. aww:X great story;)

    The younger girl asked me if I was the singer of Epica :)

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  6. Haven't read a good story for a while.
    What you have wrote may open some eyes out there and realize that you're a human being,not an imaginary creature,as they think.
    Glad that everything went OK and you got safely home.

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  7. What you lived in this situation is what I live everyday at my city subway. I'm from Rio de Janeiro and it's completely chaotic!! People stay in the way , probably afraid to lose their stop, and then nobody can go in or out of the train! And I always think like you: people just think about themselves and then nobody cooperate. I completely understand what you've been through and I'm glad it wen out ok! :)

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  8. awwww! it's so nice when you share your life with us!

    I'm glad you're okay anyways.

    I wish I could get a train with you one day... xD

    Take care! <3

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  9. Quite an adventure you've been through! =D

    Sadly the situation you told us about is veeery commum inside de public transportation here in Brazil! During the rush hours bus and subways get this way!=/

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  10. I'm also from Brazil, like Isabella, but the city of Sao Paulo. The subway here is also a complete chaos, every day ... Always ... Even without an apparent reason (outside the overflow).

    Good thing the girl didn't cry out in the crowded train, "My God, is Simone Simons!!!!" It would be an even greater mess! Haha!

    Glad all is well with you!
    Take care.

    Kisses!

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  11. Nice story. You should come here in Italy, if you want to live similar experiences every day.
    Our trains are always late and overcrowded

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  13. Haha.. this story reminds me of a train travel I had from Stockholm to Gothenburg.. it was tiring and funny at the same time :)

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  14. ahuhau Nothing is only bad... We can always try to see the bright and funny/good side =)

    But If you are willing to enter crowded trains, come to Brazil, São Paulo or Rio would do the job... Crowds + tiny space + heat = ?

    xD

    Anyway, that was a great story, hope you tell us more =)

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  15. Hehe, I like your story, you are a perfect storyteller :)... Im going through something similar to this every day when Im going at bus station from my housing estate to catch the train/or bus to my school which is in 30km's distanced city...Sometimes you can meet there very interesting people.

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  16. that's good that everything turned out to be ok. But if you were traveling by train here in Poland, you would have much more experiences like this, because here there are really rare occasions when train is arriving at the right time.

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing this, i really enjoyed it =) it was inevitable to imagine all that you passed trough.

    If i was that young girl, i would probably do the same thing, it was very smart of her part.

    Regards from México Simone!.

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  18. It sounds a lot like Brazilian "trains"!
    Always crowded, late and it all...But normally, we get in contact with the ones near. To complain, of course XD We are always complaining, and that puts us together, and talking :p
    Very smart of the young girl. I would do the same - and then ask for a picture and an autograph. :p
    Well, once I'm capable to do it, I will go to Europe and I will certainly pay a visit to all the places you name in your posts. It seems to be worthy!
    I'm glad it all went well for you and the train travelers, anyway...

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  19. This was really a pretty story, a real movie, all the things we have to live in few hours inside trains, everything can happens, it's nice that you shared pleasant moments of yourselves, and is lovely the way you write it to us :D
    And no matter the wind or rain, you'll always look good! Danke Simone!

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  20. Thnx for Sharing,I Love Your Stories, I Love The Way You Look at Things And Describe Them, So Cute And Tender

    :D

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  21. Hey i Just loved your story...and almost never take trian,but here in São Paulo,take bus is more chaotic that everything.
    If I were the girl I probably I will ask for a picture and a autograph....
    Love You Simone

    ;D

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  22. Nice (or not so nice) story.

    Have you tried going by "Deutsche Bahn" some time? Those problems you described are quite common here. ;)

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  23. Nice story, full of all that little things that makes us humans. Good things like talking and sharing personal experiences with unknown people and bad things like every body thinking about them selves when they were trying to get into the train, and your final reflexion which i think close the chapter : "When you are in a situation like this you can get totally aggravated, or try to make the best out of it".

    Now i respect you not just for being such an incredible singer, but for being a beautiful person.

    See u in Cali, Colombia in February 2011. I hope so.

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  24. This is something like my everyday experience on my way to school and I am travelling only 20 kms (Ostrava - Opava /CZ) :)

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  25. Thank you for sharing this story with us, I'm glad that you arrived safely to your home, hopefully one day I could take that train with you to share stories :)

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  26. I wish there were more situations like this in which strangers can bond. You can really learn a lot about humanity when things take a turn for the worst. But wouldn't it be better if people would bond during normalcy too? I feel like people take advantage of the same old train rides and forget about the simple things that make us human.

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  27. I really enjoyed reading this! Luckily the story ended well for you :)

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  28. I really like the train story.I agree with you, we should find something good about bad situations.

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  29. Simone! Check my blog, i did a photo of you. Well i took it from here but i was bored so i edited it =).
    Hope you like it, it was fun =).

    http://luu-cruz.blogspot.com/2010/11/leisure.html

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  30. Wow!
    What a cool story!
    I don't know, but that thing about masses, chaos and people who only think about themselves, sounds like everyday in Mexican Metropolitan(subway). Specially in the lines 1 (Obsevatorio), 2 (Cuatro Caminos), 3 (Indios Verdes). At least in The Netherlands the train is fluent.

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  31. I don't think that rain and wind could make any harm to your cuteness and beauty ;)

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  32. Nice Story, with cute ending ^^ (=

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  33. i'm used to take train...it's really hard!
    how could this girl take so much time to realized that you are simone simons??? omg
    luv u

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  34. lucky girl!
    I Would want find you, even in a train, some day..
    Must be a dream to meet you personally =)

    kisses

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  35. Lovely Story simoone really felt inside that train when i read it :)

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