Train Rides & Toilets


Things have been happening on this side of the world-I have left the obscenely expensive room  in Barcelona for the quieter town of Masnou situated along the Mediterranean coast – horses in close proximity Yeehaaaa!  Of course in true me fashion, the journey was not without it’s obstacles .

My leaving was preceded by a raucous Saturday night that only ended Sunday 5-30am – a fitting farewell to the city I think you would agree. I managed 4 hours of sleep and then had to get ready for my departure from Barcelona. Suffering from a major case of babalaas and thinking I am only 30minutes away from my new bed  I set off for Masnou.

I have a lot of luggage – backpack on my back ( obviously) , laptop hoisted over my chest, handbag on arm and right hand pulling a case of about 23kgs. Not  to worry – I only have a short walk to the train station and then upon arrival in Masnou my new boss will be fetching me in her car- what’s ten minutes of lugging this stuff about hey?

After stumbling down the stairs  with my carry case bouncing down each step like an epileptic drill bit  I flung myself onto the train and settled in for the ride to my new home.  10 minutes in I realised I hadn’t yet seen the sea – I was moving to the coast after all ? I didn’t want to panic and thought maybe because I was tired the trip was taking longer in my mind . At about 30minutes in I accepted that I had clearly boarded the wrong train there were mountains all around me. Dammit!

Next stop I heaved my increasingly heavy  luggage onto the platform and decided I would sit around this station and await the next train returning from whence I came. I shuffled across a dodgy looking pathway over the train tracks praying I don’t get electrocuted. So here I am looking like a right knob sitting on the side of the railway tracks with all my worldly possessions dangling off  various limbs.

“promixa tren  a Barthelona blah blah Numero 1 ”   My ears tweak -next train it is.  Every one runs across to the platform on the other side which is where the train dropped me off to begin with. Hell I ain’t getting on the wrong train again and travelling further into the interior. In a logical world I would assume that the opposite platform(numero 2) to the one that deposited me onto this railway abyss , would be the very one that would take me back to the city. That would have been too simple. I am standing on platform 2 thinking that the train will come opposite to the track that  I arrived on – I mean how can the one track have trains travelling in both directions?

I  go inside the station and see if I can figure out what time the next train heading back to Barna will arrive. I ask when the next train is and she points outside – there it is on the other side of the tracks on bloody platform 1 . With about 30kgs of luggage it’s safe to say I didn’t make that train.

Tick tock tick tock – I sat in this random station for forty minutes. My only entertainment being the endless stream of teenagers spitting on the tracks, sashaying past in pussy pelmets and doing bike tricks uncomfortably close to me on the steps whilst I was slowly passing out.

Another 40minutes pass. Kill me now. Eventually I hear “proxima tren a Barthelona blah blah blah numero 2”. OK I am on platform 2 I am not moving.Unfortunately just as the train arrives I start to feel the 2 litres of cranberry juice and water I drank before leaving Barcelona make their presence felt.

I hoist myself onto the train  surrounded by wife-beater clad teenage boys doing wheelies on their BMX’s up and down the train. For some reason these youths feel the need to walk up and down the train directly past where I am sitting forcing me to adjust my seating position every 2 minutes – all the while trying desperately not to pee my pants. You know that excruciating point where you think if you don’t pee your kidney will burst through you stomach – this was worse. I start debating to myself- it’s either pee on myself in a foreign country and explain I am from another culture and hope this flies or jump off at the next stop.

Next stop it  is – there must be a toilet somewhere , a cafe , a shop , a house anything! So I waddle, knees clamped together ,in search of ablutions in this very industrial looking pit stop.I see the familiar  Servioco sign ( toilets) and make my way only to discover urinals upon urinals- the girl’s toilet is shut F%&^ !

There must be a key . I scamper to the station house to find ….no one working  aaargh Dam these Spaniards and their effing siestas. I then notice a rundown yard where there seems to be a drinks party going on so I approach the locals who happen to be  surrounded by chickens. They seem to recognize the anguish all across my face and direct me back to the men’s toilet where they assure me there is a separate toilet inside. I venture into urinal central and hurrah there is a room with a normal toilet – fantastic! I get straight onto the business of ending my pain and suffering  only to discover with horror someone else had been here before . They had not bothered to use the toilet- it wasn’t pretty that’s as much as I will say.

PS as for getting to Masnou despite turning what was a 30minute trip into a 3 hour lost-a-thon , all’s well that ends well.


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