Hola! Hope you're smiling :)
The train left Carlisle station. I could see no more of Artur. Everything seemed perfect, the notice board said this was a train to London Euston, the station master said the same but I would still double check – at the risk of being judged as unbelievably stupid, I asked the staff on this Virgin Trains train if this was a train to London and he confirmed it was.
There was staff on the coach for I took a business class train. I didn’t fancy it, had to take it for I didn’t have much choice. I hadn’t booked my ticket from Carlisle to London as I was hoping to see someone who I knew was in England around the same time I was there. I wrote to him asking if we could meet. I expected a reply of ‘sorry, not possible’ but instead got ‘if you are flexible, we can try and meet’ – with such a hopeful reply, I didn’t want to book tickets from Carlisle as I almost believed I will find myself at a very random place only to meet this person. I loved the idea of it and looked forward to it even before leaving for England. I was hoping for the randomness until I realized that it’s too late any such thing to happen. I never heard from the person again and I kept waiting, waiting until the moment I shouldn’t wait. As per his first reply, he had left the country. The same was suggested by tagged pictures of him on Facebook. I must admit that it hurt me a little bit to be put on hold without any news like that. I must admit further that it actually hurt deep.
When it was time to get to London from Carlisle, I could only find a business class ticket on a train. I am not the business class kinds. I wouldn’t take it. I am on a budget holiday and I’d rather save the money to buy gifts for friends back home than take a business class. My heart sank when I had to pay quite a lot for what could have been really cheap if I just got an email from him.
When I got on the train and moved into the coach, it amused me to realize that not even the Brits travel business class in Britain. I was the only passenger in the coach with five pantry/hospitality staff. The only one.
In that lonely coach I was left alone with my thoughts. I dreaded such a time. I dreaded being left alone with my thoughts and emotions. I dreaded what was happening – my heart was shrinking. It shrank, further and further as I thought of how far I would soon be from England. I thought of the kindness people showered on me, the ‘dear’s and ‘darling’s, the friendships, the smiles, the beauty of this country. It overwhelmed me and I was truly glad to be the only person in the coach for it embarrasses me when caught with tears running down my face.
There still was the hospitality staff that popped in and out of the pantry. They kept asking me if I’d like something. ‘Some juice madam?’ ‘Some water?’ ‘Would you like a sandwich?’ ‘Would you like something to eat or drink’ and I always responded with a polite ‘No, thank you.’ The only reason being – I spent hell a lot of money on this ticket, I am spending no more.
It’s only when a very kind lady insisted that I eat something, I realized : It’s all FREE!!!!! That’s was quite a pleasant discovery for I was starving!
After being stupid for a good hour and then making my tummy happy, I immersed myself in the beauty of what was outside the window and took some pictures to remember the lovely time for longer.
Coming back to familiar places made me smile
I will miss you England!