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Everyone who goes on the train has a light brown bag and an umbrella. Ladies wear gray petticoats and gentlemen accompany them in flannel suits or jackets. Most have a hat on, some even a monocle.

 

The children are plenty, thought their mouths are too occupied with rooster lollies to make noise. Pets are neatly stashed and waved to as they are wheeled off to a far car of the train.

 

The tickets have no seats on them, so getting a good place can be one of those subtle nuisances that make «hassle» sounds like too strong a word. Everyone is calm, though, there will plenty of empty rooms so that if the children want to play in them, they each get their own one. Tea will be served shortly.

 

When everyone has settled down and their luggage is out of sight, when the coats are on the hangers and slippers replace the brown shoes, boots, or small buckled sandals, the tea is already steaming on the little tables next to the window, leaving beads of water on the glass. The cups are a decorated china, their rims thin and delicate, and the young ladies chuckle as they lift their pinky fingers to sip from the softly steaming pools of warmth. Not that they need to though, the train is warm enough as it is.

 

By then, the station will have been left behind. Their departure is not like in those old films when everybody waves goodbye with a napkin that they use to wipe tears with, and can’t hear some loved one or friend as they yell something to the train. Nobody is left behind on the small sunny station, so nobody notices when they begin to move.

 

The evening of the journey is spent by each family in their own way: some play cards and teach each other poker, some gossip, some sing old songs on guitar. Everybody brings small favorite foods from home and make their own dinner, it is like a picnic. Later, if the weather is right, they open the windows to look at the stars before going to bed.

 

And in the morning, when they wake up, the train is already at sea.

 
 

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