Yesterday I made one of my periodic journeys from Germany to Wales. It was largely a dull and uneventful affair – which I’m not complaining about, incidentally, having had a few that were eventful in a less-than-good way – but a few unexpected moments made me smile.
• The ticket guy on the ICE down to Basel: I’d only just managed to retrieve my ticket from my bag when he appeared, and was rummaging to find my purse containing my railcard (which you have to show to validate a ticket of the kind I had). He said “You’ve got your card, haven’t you? Don’t bother getting it out, I believe you”. Maybe stuff like this happens in some countries all the time, but it was a first for me in Germany and left me rather amused.
• The elderly lady on the plane: I really don’t know what I did, but when I passed her seat as I was boarding the plane, she gave me the most radiant smile I’ve seen in years. I spent the whole flight wishing I’d been put to sit next to her.
• Little Angus and his mum: Over in Merrie Englande and on the chugalug train I was destined to spend three and a half hours on, a young mum asked me rather apologetically if I’d mind “awfully” if she and her child sat next to me. “He’s a bit loud,” she added, rolling her eyes. Actually Angus, aged about three, turned out to be a complete sweetie and his mum was just brilliant at keeping him occupied. We didn’t get into conversation as I was reading, but I was left full of admiration for them and almost wish I’d said something to that effect.