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Entries For: August 2007

The red train in Rotterdam

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As with most other mornings this week, I arrived late at the train station today.

Too late to catch the train which would take me on time. Yet too early to take the next.

A few minutes later, seating in the wagon and waiting for the departure, I was considering the good time I spent yesterday evening playing Dance Dance Revolution in Delft with two friends. With no book to read, no one else in the wagon, and a good sleep last night, my eyes kept themselves busy looking around the station.

Rotterdam Centraal is quickly changing these days. The upper cross-tracks platform for pedestrians has caught my attention for weeks already and I'll probably try it soon. The new underground tunnel will soon be ready as well - we expect it for September 1st. And still, trains are going as usual, and there is no hour in the day where the line of sight from track 1 to track 15 is clear.

Today, the noisy red train parked one track away from my train.

So exceptional and still so common at the time!

Its looks are different; no train in the region looks like this one, and the only trains from Germany that are technically related do not pass Rotterdam and do not share the same colors. But the red trains pass the station once per hour, nearly all day long. During all the time I have spent in this station, their sight has become pretty common.

And then, today was a little more unusual, for a little while.

I looked at the train, then it left, and then nothing happened. Why wasn't I nervous? Why didn't I feel the pressure of stress and expectation today?

Until today, I would watch the red train each time with fascination, my excitation would rise as the train would be accelerating to leave, and only recede when the train would move out of sight. But not today. This change, by itself, was worth some interest and I toyed with the idea for a while as my train eventually departed.

It could be that I eventually divorced from my relationship with this train. We fell in love some years ago, then we had our intense experiences together last year, but it has been a while since our last good moments together and I even cheated on it already. Maybe I just accepted that it's time to let go and change my direction. (no pun intended)

It could be that I have been subconsciously counting on them to deliver friends to my neighborhood. Now that this duty is over, or rather that I realize that it is not the train that brings the friends, but the friends who use the train, the expectation has waned and the mean has lost the undeserved attention I was giving to it.

It could be that they were representing a very concrete and repeated link between my new life and the old one. That they were nagging me as an easy way to escape the challenge of building myself and overcoming fears, and that eventually I came to accept that there is no going back now.

Or it could be simply that I am still too tired for my feelings to react as usual to my daily surroundings...


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