96.Strangers on a train.

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I know. Another train. That’s what you do when you’re travelling, and me.

Here is the cast:

Me. Rocking a kind of a lesbian chic look, an overall with a white tee and a pale blue linen stripe shirt, expensive but trying to be understated. Studded boots. Throwing off the scent with an actual hiking backpack. Hot gran of the group. Disavowing this fiercely.

Levi and Ella. Loved up, beautiful connection, everything is politic , youth won’t end anytime soon vibe. That vegetarian, dishevelled, organic shampoo – no I have not just slept in it what are you trying to say – look. Peace out for fucks sake people.

The blond Maelstrom. My french failed me, she spoke too fast. Hot body poured into Michael Kors. Four kids. The weekend off her four kids. Two dads. Jittery. Inhaling rose in an airline sized wine bottle. Chanel perfume and meat sticks that she offered the vegetarians. A lot of giggling. Checked and reapplied lipstick three times an hour. Shambles. Adorable.

Hand tattoo semi goth chick. Said nothing. Wanted to be friends. Didn’t know where to begin. Thudded down where my feet were so comfy just seconds before. Interesting tattoos, hand drawn, naive art. Probably not that naive. Ripped jeans, black jersey undoubtedly scratchy on her skin.

Compulsary black dude. Blocking the world out with music from the mobile and the hood over his head. What? I didn’t say fucking nothing. Je ne dis pas putain de rien.

95.Train of thought

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Today I write onboard the JTV, the fast train from Paris to Nice. I claimed seat 45 carriage 1 at 10am, for a six hour journey through the languid French countryside. Nothing chill about the speed of this thing though; we are slicing through the countryside like our pantaloons are on fire.

I love love love train travel. Something about the rhythm of the beast, the silkiness of the changing view, the lack of turbulence. Something about permission to be still.

There’s something old school and charming about riding trains. Between the food car, the conductors, and the world flying by outside your window, there’s a nostalgic appeal that comforts.

With no take off, landing or seat-belt signs, you’re not stuck in your seat for endless amounts of time. You can move about the train at will. Since someone else is doing the driving, you’re free to eat, drink, nap and wander whenever you like. You also never have to endure another cheesy Air New Zealand safety video.

The era we live in is loud, and filled with static. There are so many things calling us – unseasonal storms, unreasonable deadlines, dependents and independents, apocalyptic nightmares filled with yam coloured fascists, the white noise of social media – in a frenzy today of course after America reveals its moral compass is broken.

Dedicating solid time to a book or, hang on a minute, even my own thoughts is becoming more of an ambition that a daily reality.

Today though I have a date with my brain and a notebook, and the view outside my window. Apart from the Nice train station, I wonder where I might end up?