Hey, congrats on the new job! At last, eh? Gimme the details, company name – oh. OK, never heard of them. Local? Wrocław, huh? Full remote? Commute a few times per month?! Oh boy. Just your luck, man…
What do you mean, what do I mean? What, got yerself a car, fancy man? You’d have to go by train! “So what?” Oh man. Okay, mate, let me enlighten you and lay down some rules for long distance commuting.
First off, have your ticket handy. Seriously man, no joking around with hiding in toilets. Never mind the penalty, if you’re unlucky, they kick you out at the next stop in the middle of nowhere and believe me you don’t want that.
Second, always have something to busy yourself. Szczecin to Wrocław is not a good route for idle staring through the window. Read a book, listen to some music, watch a movie, whatever. Don’t look outside if you can’t help it.
Third, do not engage other passengers. Don’t be rude, but keep to yourself. Do not stare and do not take any food or drink from them, if they insist on sharing their vodka, say you’re sewn up, they’ll back off. Yes I’m serious. Yes I know nobody uses Esperal implants anymore, but they don’t.
No, no, I’m not joking, this is serious stuff. Listen. Listen to me! There are things there, okay? The railway goes through the forests, along the old Red Army bases, okay, and there are even older things there, old German bunkers – yes, seriously, the MRU, read up on it. The Russians thrown the Germans out of their fortified regions and moved in. Yes. Yes, they had – or found, I dunno – things there, okay? Yes it was like thirty years ago, you really think they took their stuff when they left? The bases are empty, but not really, okay? That’s why you don’t want to get kicked off, and that’s why you don’t want to disembark for a smoke. Do you still smoke? Quit, then, this shit’s bad for you.
Next thing, you know how time stretches when you’re on the train? Well, it shrinks there. If you notice your watch is off when you arrive, and you seem to have lost some time, just – yeah, that’s missing time, oh you remember the X-Files then? Haha, yeah it aged badly – but anyway, if you get, yes, missing time, then just set your watch to whatever your phone says, or to the first clock outside the train station, and don’t worry about it. Yeah, but what you’re gonna do about it? Why outside? Well, Wrocław Główny is a weird train station too, so just in case.
You know what, the best thing really is to just catch the night train, sleep through the whole thing. Don’t look outside, don’t engage other passengers, don’t miss your stop, don’t disembark. Have your ticket handy!
Yeah, I just avoid that route altogether, now that my grandma died. My family is from Legnica, didn’t I tell you that? My father taught me all this, ’cause you know, visiting the grandparents. Yes, I’ve asked them, he told me he and mom moved from Legnica, because they wanted healthy children. Yeah. No I didn’t pry. So yeah. Yeah, gotta run too, take care man, remember what I told you! Yeah, bye, yeah.
[ phone conversation overheard in Szczecin cafe ]