So when I stepped onto the train to Gyor/Hungary my pants fell down on my knees. I was about to travel through Europe by train and the last thing the lovely people standing at the Central Station were to see of me, was my bright and shiny pink boxer.
On my way I met a very warm and gentle Austrian woman who moved to Germany but never fully managed to bring her heart with her. In her eyes and the fine wrinkles, the solitude of a migrant in Germany and the painful memories of her childhood in Austria. “My father wanted a son not a daughter”, she kept repeating in between the conversations and giggles. A hard line next to her mouth would appear for a second but soft words about the beauty of Austria quickly stepped in. Promises to meet, a finger on my nose, smiles and the knowledge we probably never will meet but sometimes do when a little cloud of memories passes by.
I cried when I had to go back. Afraid of people and not very good at mingling I did manage to meet two most wonderful of souls in Hungary. A Bulgarian young man who became my sister and a lovely Lithuanian girl, who my new found sister and I, continued to call Baba (grandmother) during those wonderfully strange two weeks. Cackles were shared with a girl from Kenya. We were the only people of color and when we did spot a man from Ghana… we chased, scared the shit out of him, posed together for a picture and made him laugh out loud.
On my way back a strange sense of peace filled me while the train was gliding through the mountains and hills of Germany and Austria. A Hungarian woman who was sitting next to me was on a pilgrimage. After three hours of talking about the Bible she asked me if I was Protestant. I told her that I’m an atheist. She felt sorry for me.
When I arrived I realized I forgot to call my family during those two weeks.
*Just so nobody accuses me of plagiarism. The two last lines in the photo are from a movie called Pakeezah. It’s about a prostitute that falls asleep in a train. A fellow traveler charmed by the sight of her feet, the same feet that dance for men at night, leaves a poem in between her toes. Urging her to never have them touch the ground as they would become spoiled. Condemned by the loving kindness of a strangers words she finds herself sighing: “Every night at three o’ clock, a train leaves its rails and passes through my heart. And it gives me a message.”