Bruno-Thomas, Martin and Lukas
"You are by far the most likeable people I have encountered on this train!"
HOW did they react?
"Haha, thank you! You should totally use that compliment for your project!"
HOW did I feel?
Rhinelanders like to drink. In two years of commuting from one Rhinelandish town to another I have learned that. Taking uncountable last trains from Cologne going south I feel like I've seen them all: Hordes of bachelor party corpses. Janine, Jacqueline and Jessica, firing away choreos to smartphone tunes, holding bottles of Wodka. Several nameless passed out on a seat, sleeping their way to the last stop. Not to mention carneval. There has been some stranger's vomit next to my shoes, under my shoes and right on my shoes. Don't get me wrong. I am not an anti alcoholic. I like to drink, too. I don't even mind drinking Kölsch anymore. And a late night train ride can be fun. Just like drunk people.
It's all a matter of choice and your form of the day- if you have to take the train home all week, if you have exams in the morning, if you need to finish this article for work- believe me, that's when you really just want Jessica and her friends to be quiet. Or at least someone you can have a chat with which they won't be able to until some point late tomorrow afternoon.
If you tell me I should just move you're right. I'll do that in August. Which is why I am even more grateful for meeting Bruno (whose real name is Thomas. But he looked a hell lot like a Bruno), Martin and Lukas right before saying goodbye to going back and forth daily.
It all started with them sitting two seats away from me.
I was working on a blog post. Martin watched me doing so and asked: "Are you keeping a diary?" That question lead to the most fun 45 minute train ride I have had since secretely sogging with someone in the back of a train in 10th grade.
I explained my project to them. They nodded: "Cool!" Poiting at the cans in their hands I asked if they were coming from a college party. They said, "No, they're from somewhere else..." Turned out they'd just visited their Religious Education teacher from high school. A priest. They drive three hours to have a beer with him every now and then. He is their facebook friend and they will all take a tour to Rome together soon. I asked if I could sit down next to them. They said: "Hell, yeah!" We talked about good teachers. And this and that. I remember laughing after every second sentence. They were quick with jokes. I was with questions. Though they asked me if I always ask that many questions they oviously enjoyed responding. I learned that an athlete's heart weighs up to 500 gramm (average: 200 gramm) from Lukas. And Bruno told me that dead bodies are not scary. And that touching them feels pretty neutral, so does putting make up on their faces: Undertaker used to be his number one dream job for a while.
I wondered how I could've missed these kids during all my previous train rides. When my stop was announced and I said: "You are by far the most likeable people I have encountered on this train!", I hadn't thought about it for a second. It was a realization falling out of my mouth; The most spontaneous compliment so far.