You can’t beat a good night train in Scotland.
The combination of people heading back from a night out, perhaps some booze consumed over the course of an evening and the enclosed atmosphere of the carriage seems to lend itself to strangers getting to know each other somewhat better.
I’ve done two night trains back from Edinburgh in the past fortnight.
Last week 8 guys got on at Haymarket having had a good “bucket” (ie a lot to drink of the alcoholic nature). When the train conductress came round to check their tickets, they spontaneously burst into Caravan of Love by the Housemartins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-uUS6bSOP4 with each singing a line and leaning in with their hands made into the form of a microphone. The train conductress couldn’t help herself chortling.
The lady next to me said “the question is, why that song?”
And yes I wonder why.
The lyrics:”Every woman every man join the caravan of love, stand up stand everybody take a stand, join the caravan of love, stand up, stand up” seemed a little out of place in the setting though hand in hand perhaps we were taking a caravan back to the motherland of Glasgow!
Last night, I again had the joys of the night train.
A guy in the window seat to my right had fallen fast asleep snoring loudly, his ticket precariously clutched in his hand. Now it is always a bit of a dilemna to know what to do in such a situation. Should I awaken him? Will he have set an alarm to wake himself up? Will he have his homing pigeon sensor in his brain to wake himself up at the right stop? Did I risk a confrontation? I took the middle ground asking the guy in the seat directly opposite him to have a quick glance at his ticket.
At that, the train stopped.
We’d reached Livingston North.
As he touched the ticket, the guy woke up. He was indeed headed for Livingston North so quickly regained his senses and got off the train.
This led me into a conversation with the guy across from me about what to do in some situations. We got chatting. He asked me where I was from. I said “Airdrie”. He said “really?”. I said “yes why?”. “But you’re reading a book?”. I said I had lived for some years in Edinburgh, he said “oh that explains it then”. We started chatting and talk turned to work. I told him I had been a lawyer. He said “I’m frightened to tell you what I do”. I said “why?”. He said “it is something quite different, I’m training to be a priest”. He told me he is in this third year at Rome, the first two years having been spent on philosophy which “opened the mind” and now he is on to “theology”.He had formerly been into body building but one day he thought he’d go to the church and each day he spent longer and longer there so his life had taken a different turn.
We got off at the same stop. He left me saying “well if I ever need a lawyer” to which I replied “well if I ever need a priest”.
And with that another enlightening night train was at an end….