I Got High and Talked to People

Okay, I admit, this post’s title is a plain clickbait. It worked though, right?

In fact, I didn’t get that high. Neither did I talk to people that much. But baby steps, you know.

So how it occurred, and what the heck even occurred?

It started pretty much when I treated myself to half a Lexaurin today for my shoulder pain. Why, sure, I take tranquillisers in lieu of pain pills. Trust me, I’ve lived with my broken brain for long enough to know what’s what. By trial and error, I discovered that pain killers fail to kill psychosomatic pain, which where the Lexaurin comes in. It works.

Painfree and high on the fact, I put myself out there and went grocery shopping. In high spirits. When I’m on Lexaurin, I talk to people. Any people. On random. That’s the opposite of what I do when I’m unmedicated, which is when I hide from people. All people. Also, the voices of people. Meaning I don’t pick up phone calls. I just can’t even.

Mightily enjoying myself, I was sweeping round the supermarket cheerfully, smiling at people, bumping into them and apologising and having them bump into me and apologising some more. It’s a bank holiday tomorrow, hence the shop will be closed for one day, hence the whole village gathered in the shop to collect supplies. Logic.

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One kind of high

All cash desks were blocked by queues winding across to the opposite wall of the shop. I’ve never seen so many locals uniting as one for their pre-holiday shopping. I had to purchase bottled water for the wait. And I entertained myself by entertaining innocent bystanders.

When the guy in the queue after me bumped into me yet again, I groaned mockingly: O, father, why hast thou forsaken us?! The guy gave me a WTF-look. I winked at him to indicate I’m not hostile. Much to his loss, he didn’t quite get my exquisite sense of humour.

I didn’t have more luck with the cashier. When it was my turn, which was about ten years later, I greeted her with my crooked-teeth smile and yelled over the noise of the crowded shop: Good evening to ya, may it be so! It makes slightly more sense in my mother tongue, btw.

The cashier awoke from her zombie mode and appeared amused, which encouraged me to add a goodbye greeting as well. So I say, Thanks a lot, ma’m, and may sanity be with you in this maddening crowd! Okay, I’m kidding, my speech wasn’t quite as flourished but nearly so. Alas, the woman was back to her sleep mode and remained unresponsive.

And that’s the end of the story. Where’s the story, you ask? Oh well. If a story is what is told, then this was totally a story. Don’t try to fuck with me. I’ve had my half a Lexaurin today and I’m unfuckwithable.

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My First-Time Muffin

Do you remember the first time you ate a muffin? I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. Incidentally, it was yesterday. How come I’ve got so far and so old without ever chancing to eat a muffin? Dunno. I wish I had a profound explanation. I have no anti-muffin agenda though, it just never occurred to me to eat one.

I’m currently watching one of the most idiotic TV shows ever done, Scrubs, and leaving aside my poor judgement and taste, there is one character who is always eating muffins. We all know how persistent advertising works, so it’s no surprise that I soon became obsessed with muffins. My obsession culminated to the point when I actively desired to eat one and, the advertiser’s dream, I took action to procure it.

Please note that we’re not talking euphemisms here. By muffin, I mean muffin. I got myself one in Tesco. It was unreasonably expensive, for a muffin, though I wouldn’t know, having never noticed that they even sell this shit before. I carried my muffin home, asphyxiating it tightly wrapped in one of those anti-nature plastic bags.

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Not a muffin

There, I set my muffin on a plate and commenced examining it visually. It was labelled as a chocolate muffin, hence it was nicely dark brown, but you never know whether it’s brown because it’s chocolate or because it’s artificial colouring and flavouring. I was pretty puzzled by the muffin sitting with its bottom stuck in whatyoumaycallit, baking cup? Another of these anti-nature wrappings, but paper, not plastic.

I got so many questions. Why is it called muffin in the first place? Because it muffles whatever you’re saying when you have your mouth stuffed full of it? But then it would be mufflin, I guess. Also, is it soft or hard? Some things are indeed better hard, like Oreos, but I’d prefer this one soft. And is there something in the centre of this misshapen ball? Like, uhm, cream filling? And will it explode on my face? On this note of practical considerations, how the fuck are you supposed to eat this thing??

I dug an exploratory finger in the top of the muffin and behold, it’s soft and crumbly! It’s so soft and crumbly that I got crumbs in my keyboard. Damnit. It’s nice though. Very nice. Very chocolatey. Also, now that I’m observing the remains of a muffin which has just undergone a lobotomy, have you ever noticed that the muffin looks like a nuclear mushroom cloud? No? It totally does! Look at that shit properly the next time you eat a muffin. And for your information, the muffin was as empty inside as me.

Second-World Alternatives to First-World Products

I have the dubious (dis)advantage of living betwixt the first and the second worlds. My ass is sitting on a second-world chair, but the first world is at my fingertips, literally, through the internet. If you haven’t heard yet, what I define as second world are primarily post-communist countries in eastern Europe, which are, just like me, sitting uneasily between world one and world three, thus logically constituting world two. Makes sense, right?

Living in the second world entails having mostly second-world problems, which are pretty down-to-earth and typically revolve around the overarching question of how the fuck do I pay the bills. Assorted first-world problems do creep in, such as, what the fuck do I do with myself when the wifi is down, but mostly, first-world problems remain the source of endless hilariousness for me. You know, most first-world problems are not a thing here. Yep, they’re virtually nonexistent. Don’t everyone move in here.

In the unlikely scenario, though, that you’re a first-worlder looking to live in the second world (whatever crimes you committed to deserve that), here’s a helpful list of how to go about it. Among other things, your strategy must cover procuring alternatives for first-world products, which are here either entirely unavailable or are no way affordable. My insider advice is based specifically on Czechia, but should be applicable elsewhere too. Here you go. Take notes.

Item to substitute: iPhone, iPad and other iStuff
Get instead: normal stuff, huh

I suspect it’s not common knowledge in the first world, but when you want a smartphone, you don’t have to buy an iPhone. (Shocking, I know, but indulge me for a bit.) Just Google cheap smartphone in the local language and you shall be surprised to see that there are plentiful non-i-items in terms of phones, tablets, computers and laptops.

Be advised, however, that a tablet is not allowed. I can spare you the waste of money and tell you right away that a tablet doesn’t do anything that a phone or a laptop wouldn’t do. See, you’re already spending less!

Item to substitute: coffee machine
Get instead: kettle

Let’s make it clear straight away. You’re not drinking fancy coffee, and even if you wanted to, too bad, there are no more than two or three cities in this country where there’s a Starbucks. Take-away coffee, obviously, isn’t admissible anyway, so get used to making your own sooner rather than later.

What you do drink is called Turkish Coffee and has nothing to do with real Turkish coffee. For a recipe, see my earlier post. It’s pretty simple, wholesome, and all you need is a tin mug (if you want to go authentic), generic brand coffee and a means to boil water. If you really want to cut spending, you don’t even need a kettle, an oven will do; and if you don’t have an oven, use the fireplace in the middle of your room.

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Congrats! There’s a railway in your place!

Item to substitute: car
Get instead: bus ticket

This is another outrageous concept, but sorry not sorry, that’s what it is: you don’t need a car. Here, I said it. It’s good news really because you can’t afford a car, obviously. You used the money you saved up to pay for your driving licence already, which is good, you might need it in case you ever need to drive a get-away car.

Look around. It might be that there are buses, trams and trains around. See them? Good. You just got yourself a means of transport. Can’t see anything? Too bad. It looks like you live in the middle of nowhere, where there is no public transport. Never mind though, you can still walk. So put those silly stilettos away in the closet, you won’t be using them here.

Item to substitute: TV and/or Netflix subscription
Get instead: nothing

I’ll let you in to a secret: if you have a computer or laptop, you have zero need for a TV. Actually, TV ownership is here associated with the lower-class (euphemism for dumb people in this case), so if you’re keen on making it (i.e., making it until the next rent is due), you won’t bee needing this crap.

As to Netflix, don’t worry about it too much, it’s probably not available in your new region anyway. Despite globalism, don’t think that you could subscribe to an US version of Netflix or anything really. You can’t, you’re now in the wrong place. The main point is, however: you don’t pay for watching anything. If you find yourself doing it, you’re doing it wrong.

There is obviously so much more, so much more that you couldn’t wrap your mind around it, which is the reason why I’ll leave you to it for now. I might bring more advice later. Or not. In case I do, watch this space. (Instead of Netflix.)

 

 

My Cat Is Trying to Kill Me in Unexpected Ways

Cats are generally deemed to be plotting the early demise of their owners. I don’t think they have it well thought-through because procuring a new owner might present a problem. It doesn’t make sense for the cat to dispose of the human, unless the cat wants to feast on the dead body. But cats don’t make sense. Neither does mine, however, she is not be underestimated. She doesn’t simply plot to murder me, she also actually acts on her murderous intentions. Her schemes for getting rid of me are extremely clever. You’d never expect that, especially if you believe that your cat is dumb.

There’s murder in her squinty look

Method #1: Death by Starvation

I avoid conflicts at all costs and my cat knows it. Anytime I’m preparing myself a meal, the cat acts like a drama queen. She makes as if she wants my veggies, tofu or soy. She doesn’t actually want any of these things. The only thing she eats is dry food and the gravy from meat pouches. Not the meat, she chose to be vegan. So, I always prepare food with the cat meowing like I’m murdering her and making me feel guilty. The cat places her hopes in my inclination to avoid guilt and conflict and expects me to stop making myself meals, hence dying of starvation.

Method #2: Death by Stroke

My cat scares the shit out of me. That’s her thing. Not only does she creep on me, disappears and then reappears at a spot where she absolutely couldn’t have got herself in the split second that it takes. She also haunts me when I sleep. She recently undertook to climb on the cushions next to my pillow in bed. So when I wake up, she’s hovering over my face, very close and very big. Her other move is to position herself at my nightstand and wait for me to turn my head when I’m reaching for my phone. It’s pretty scary to look up the first thing in the morning and see the cat triumphantly towering above me.

Method #3: Death by Assault

My cat is a living assault weapon. It’s not just the usual love bites and scratches which I incur when I show as little sense as to touch her when she’s in play mode. Cats have a somewhat violent idea of what constitutes play. When my cat has the crazies, she runs around like crazy (hence crazies), jumps like a bunny and basically walks on walls and the ceiling. She also waits in ambush behind the fridge for me to walk by and then jumps at me. This is normally okay because she bounces off, but the other day she hit my shin. The impact was surprisingly painful. I guess she graduated to aggravated assault.

How to Take the Worst Photos Ever

I specialise at taking bad photos. Scratch it. I specialise at taking the worst photos ever. Since the internet is full of how-to articles on taking better photos, I thought I’d contribute with my valuable experience of how to take worse photos. And since I recently blogged an anti-recipe, let’s continue with an anti-manual.

Taking photos that suck something fierce is an art, like everything else. You’ll need to practise it to perfect your skills—but remember that the practice for crappy photo skills consists in taking pictures as little and as far apart as possible. The next you’ll need is to equip yourself with the appropriate gear (the cheaper the better) and to follow a few principles, listed below.

Gear for the Worst Results

Use your phone camera. If you own an iPhone, give it away to that homeless guy at the corner. If you’re serious about worsening your photo skills, you can’t hope to achieve it with an Apple device. Get the cheapest generic brand phone that is available to you. Make sure to treat it poorly. An important warning: never clean the phone lens! When you get your lens soiled and keep it that way, you’ll be always taking dirty photos. Cool trick, right?

Suitable Subjects

Forget about sweeping panoramas and people portraits. These are unsuitable subjects for a photographer who seriously sucks. Pick as lowly subjects as possible: a manhole, a candy wrapper in the gutter, a supermarket floor. Advanced students of the art of shockingly bad photography may proceed to selfies. Be careful though, your selfie must never contain a face! Aim at your feet, hands or crotch. For illustrations of the appropriate method, see examples above.

Post-production

Cancel your subscription to Photoshop. Forget about Lightroom. Forget about any post-production at all. Your astonishingly bad photos must be presented as-is, #nofilter. Crooked horizons and tilted walls are highly desirable. Once you master the skill of snaps that suck, you’ll be able never to take a straight picture in your life again. If you publish your work on Instagram, don’t forget the elite tags: #random #whatever #icanteven. Happy shooting!

Shit I Carry in My Handbag

I used the word shit in the post title. I wonder if there will be repercussions. Will I get reported as a threat to society? I’m terrified so say anything these days because I never know what I’m allowed to say to keep it politically correct, gender neutral, family friendly and whatnot. But when thinking of pretty much anything in life, the only word that comes to mind is shit (also, crap, but that doesn’t solve the problem).

I’m currently prepping for a school reunion tomorrow, where I don’t want to go but socialising is good for my mental health (I don’t think so, but my psychiatrist does). It’s a one-day trip, I’ll be home for the night (unless I get mugged and murdered), so I’m putting just a few basic things in my handbag. When I contemplate my labour, I’m thinking, Shit, (here it goes again) I have some baggage (my psychiatrist agrees).

My trademark crotch selfie

Here’s the setup of my handbag, minimum requirements, but the handbag is still more of a hand-carried backpack than a ladies’ purse.

  • Several open tissue packs (sometimes I try to consolidate the packages into one, inevitably tear the wrapping and end up crying over it, ultimately using the tissues right away).
  • Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm (I have a serious addiction to lip balm, jokes aside, I urgently need to reapply it at least once an hour. It’s probably a nervous tic.).
  • A cute white and red pocket mirror (let’s gloss over the fact that it was a freebie from my preferred tampon brand).
  • Phone, earbuds, wallet (the size of a handbag of its own), keys on a ring (some of the keys I carry around solely as talismans because I have no idea what they open).
  • A book to feel good about myself (which will never be open even on public transport because, duh, I have mobile data to keep me entertained).
  • A bottle of water, a flask of slivovitz in winter (drink or freeze, I’d rather be drunk than frozen, much more pleasant).
  • Cigarettes, lighter, a spare lighter (seriously; also, smoking kills—ultimately—which is a disadvantage it shares with life).
  • Cleaning cloth for my glasses, hand sanitiser, hand cream in winter (my hands are just as dry as my lips, and both are just as dry as my creative juices).
  • Lexaurin in case I get an anxiety attack and think I’m dying (which I,  in the last analysis, am since I’ve been born).
  • Umbrella (even in winter because I bloody hate the cold white shit of snow in my hair and a cap doesn’t come in question because I do my hair with care and won’t have it messed up).

I hope I have packed all I need. Now please excuse me, I need to reapply my lip balm, go paint my nails and otherwise make myself presentable so my schoolmates think I have my shit together (both I and my psychiatrist disagree).

Yoga Bragging Rights

You might think that the yoga mindset precludes bragging. Not for me. I won’t let any zen thought occlude my better judgement. I will abstain from arguing that you should do yoga if you like yourself (and especially if you don’t like yourself), instead I will provide a list of cool reasons to do yoga. All of them tested and approved by me (because I’m a self-proclaimed expert on pretty much anything. Also, did I mention recently that I’m a doctor? Just to be clear on this.).

My gear

The really good reasons to become a yogi are as follows:

  • You get to wear cute yoga pants. I don’t mean the shabby yoga pants that you’re already wearing all the time, with a hole in the crotch area where the Asian kiddo labourers didn’t sew the seams properly. I mean real fancy yoga pants that you only use for actually doing yoga. I suggest getting several lengths, including short shorts for summer. Be cheeky.
  • You get to terrify people. Simply strike a warrior one, two, three, and take it to a dancer from there. Alternately, if you’re feeling lazy, just collapse into a forward fold and start drawing yin and yang with your hands in the dust. People will start dialling 911 because they’ll think you broke. When they realise it’s perfectly normal, they’ll think you’re a kickass (or dumbass, depending on the people).
  • You get to impress people with pearls of zen wisdom. Accept that it is what it is (Buddhist tautology). Choose to let go of that which doesn’t serve you. Know that the universe is for you and so is everything else. Please know that you’re not required to actually believe this shit. You only need to be able to say it with a straight face. Optimally, after letting such a pearl drop, join your hands in a prayer and bow your head slightly. Namaste (or, as I prefer to say, the darkness in me recognises and honours the darkness in you).

My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

A day before Christmas, something terrible had happened. My corkscrew got screwed – in a bad way – it broke into two pieces as I was diligently applying it to a bottle. I was left in an even worse way, with the prospect of holiday without wine. Fortunately, there was still slivovitz.

A few days later, as I ran out of slivovitz (the horror, the horror!), it occurred to me that I could claim warranty for my newish but already deadish corkscrew. (Also, I switched to rum.) I emailed to my supplier of screws, attaching a graphic image of the subject’s dead body as it was left on the crime scene. I suggested that due to the nature of the damage, I deemed it unnecessary to send the product back.

The crime scene
The crime scene

The seller responded with what looked like an automated reply, requesting that I return the faulty product, fill in the attached form and add a detailed description of what the problem is. (At the point the problem was that I ran out of rum.) The next day, I faced the depressive absence of alcohol in the house, but for an unopened bottle of wine. With determination, I set out to describe my problem in the form provided.

Lacking the booze muse, I hesitated what to write in the MALFUNCTION SPECIFICATION field. It seemed obvious: It’s broken. But I don’t like stating the obvious, plus I don’t want the seller to think that I approach my claim with less than dead seriousness. After all, the corkscrew is dead, Jim.

I was thinking of approaching a technical specialist to help me write my complaint: The product manifests a severe failure of structural integrity when due force (F; also, may the force be with me) of x Newton (N) was applied and caused axis y to detach itself from axis x, the latter of which collapsed, resulting in the absolute annihilation of the product. 

At least that’s what I imagine are scientific terms for the colloquial observation that the corkscrew broke into the handle and the screw (plus the cork, still impaled on it). The screw would make a great prison shank. Regrettably, I’m currently not looking to go in jail. The complaint form remains as yet uncompleted, and I welcome informed advice on how to go about it.

Shank
Shank

That’s not the end of the story though. Today I was feeling inadvisably crafty and set my mind on creating a home-made corkscrew. What I used: the spiral from the broken screw, a double wrench (size 16 and 17) and some string. How I did that: I tied the corkscrew spiral to the wrench with the string. Did it work: no. So now what: I just pushed the cork into the bottle. Who cares about bits of cork in the wine.

Weird Czech Seasonal Traditions; or, Carp in the Bathtub

Unless you’re Czech, you’ll be surprised to find that we Czechs have one of the weirdest sets of Christmas traditions ever. They range from tampering with dangerous chemicals (lead pouring), through animal cruelty (carp in the bathtub), to becoming a Christian for one day (atheists attending the midnight mass).

Preparations for Day C aka Christmas Day start with attending a local fair. Here, one gets drunk on mulled wine and mead in plastic cups, eats lángos and crepes with frozen fingers (the fingers are not eaten, but eaten with) and, above all, gets oneself a carp. Now, carp is not slang for a hangover, but the kind of fish that is served with potato salad as the traditional Christmas Eve dish. The catch is that the carp should be obtained live and kept as a pet for a few days, usually in the bathtub (jokes aside, we seriously do this). On the Christmas Morn, the man slays the carp with a mallet for the woman to cook. Alternately, the children take the carp to release it in a river or pond, where it probably dies of thermal shock, while the family dines on fish fingers.

Below is a clip from a classic Czech film, Cosy Dens (Pelíšky, 1999), showing a drunken bet of two brothers competing who can hold his breath longer – and using a bathtub with a carp swimming around in it.

The Christmas Day itself is associated with a number of curious and often apparently pointless rituals. One should starve until the dinner in order to see a golden pig (again, serious). The tradition does not mention what the point of hallucinating a golden pig is. Provided that you observe another Christmas tradition, lead pouring, you could however incur lead poisoning and easily see all kinds of animals as a result. As I never practised lead pouring, I can only speculate that one procures lead on the dark net in order to melt it, pour it in cold water and then guess what shape it is when the lead solidifies. It is not known what this potentially Freudian ritual is intended for, besides revealing one’s dark desires and blaming it on the lead.

Numerous traditions are connected to young girls, whose chief wish for Christmas was supposed to be to secure a husband. An unmarried girl could throw shoes on the Christmas Day, which is different from throwing tantrums in that if the thrown shoe pointed to the door, the girl could hope to be married within a year. It is advisable to remove pets and family members from the door area before attempting the throw and, as a safety precaution, to throw slippers rather than stilettoes. Village girls could also go out in the fields, holler magic formulas and wait from which direction the first dog responds. The girl would be married in that direction (not to that dog, presumably).

A short clip from Cosy Dens again, showing the most popular seasonal tradition: booze.

Many rituals are designed to find out whether a person will live or die anytime soon. An apple would be sliced into halves for each family member, and when the apple seeds formed a star, the person would live, but when a cross showed, the person was as good as dead. This can be rather easily cheated by using good-looking, healthy apples for the slicing. Also, what a waste of a good apple, because who would eat apples where there’s fried fish and baked sweets.

The same slicing could be done to walnuts as well, and the shells would then be equipped with a lit candle for a sail and floated in the basin. For those who are not crafty, like me, floating candles do the same service. When the nut ship stays at the edge, its owner will stay at home; when the ship sails to the middle, the person will become an immigrant. Sadly, the tradition doesn’t specify what happens to the person whose ships sinks in the harbour, as is usually my case.

For the Christmas dinner, a scale or two from the carp are put under the plate to ensure that money will stick to the eater as scales stick to the carp and that there will be as much of it. The dinner itself is a quick business since after the dinner, there come the presents. The father rings a bell, which means that the present planting is done with, and everyone lays siege to the Christmas tree. Presents are distributed by Baby Jesus Schrödinger-style. The baby, just delivered, simultaneously lies in its crib in the nativity scene and tours Eastern Europe, of all places, to forward its own unwanted gifts (now I’m fabricating a little, but Baby Jesus does deliver presents here).

Below is a YouTube for the classic Czech version of Cinderella (Popelka, 1973) with English subtitles.

Once the presents are unwrapped, the telly goes on with the obligatory Cinderella shown on multiple channels. After that, the nice things are over and it’s time for serious business. All mobile family members gather to take a stroll at the cemetery, lighting candles for their deceased. Cemeteries on Christmas Eve are real fire hazard. Finally, the Czechs, statistically proven to be the least religious nation in Europe, attend the Catholic midnight mass. The phenomenon of church attendance at Christmas remains a mystery of faith. However, faithful to the stats ranking the Czech Republic as the topmost country in the world in the consumption of beer per capita, after all the freezing at the cemetery and the church, we go home, grab a bottle and go to bed.

Troubles with Trains, Tribbles and the Whole Universe

It’s become a tradition to begin my travel posts with how much I hate travelling. Much to the despair of my cat and more to my own despair, I travel quite a bit. My latest achievement is a completed business trip to Gdansk, Poland, which took twelve hours on the train, and which I survived. I can’t say I survived unharmed.

Three-quarters into the return journey from Gdansk, the train waited in a random station for one hour. Allegedly, the scheduled stop served the mechanics to swap the train engine. I believe that it mostly served the train driver to take a coffee and cigarette break. I joined him, wondering if only staff or also weary travellers are exempted from the smoking ban at the platform. Anticlimactically, there was no one to enforce the law.

As I was getting back on the train, I failed to mind the gap between the carriage and the platform. I fell literally under the train. In shock rather than pain, I climbed up unassisted and was relieved to find that I neither tore my new jeggings nor scratched my favourite boots. I was less satisfied later at home when I stripped and discovered that my leg was swollen and badly bruised. The bruise isn’t going away, but I’m proud to provide the canvas for a colourful work of art.


My next trip was supposed to be a straightforward three-hour stint on a train from point B to point A. However, this is where point C comes in. The trip was doomed from the start, and the universe let me know by preventing my morning alarm from ringing. I woke up an hour later, got bravely ready in half my usual time and off to the train station I ran. The train was forty-five minutes late.

Still not listening to the universe, because who’d believe in such nonsense, I dragged myself and my belongings to the platform as swiftly as I could when the arrival of the train was announced. I double-checked the platform number, minded the gap between the train and the platform and hopped in the carriage. It was a train to point C.


I thought it curious that the seating layout of the train was completely remade since I last saw it, and it was no improvement. I had trouble finding my business class compartment. I walked the length of the train up to the engine, but my seat failed to materialise. With trust, I approached for directions a stiff staff member in a starched uniform. I presented my ticket and seat reservation.

The uniform inspected my ticket with confusion. “What’s that?” he inquired. “What’s what?” I inquired. The man stared. I stared. It was beginning to dawn on me. “Don’t dare to tell me I’m on the wrong train,” I begged. “You’re not only on the wrong train, you’re in the wrong direction with a wrong company, lady.” The man was merciless. I screamed.

The man far from politely suggested that I step aside BECAUSE WE AREN’T DISCUSSING THIS IN THE FIRST CLASS. In the aisle in between the carriages, I went on screaming inwardly and cursing trains, travelling, tribbles, the system, the president and the whole universe. After I finished banging my head against the toilet door, I asked the uninvolved uniform what he was going to do with me. As if I weren’t sufficiently punished for my idiocy already.


I was sold a ticket to the nearest station for double the price, seated in a quiet compartment and warned to keep my mouth shut. No phone calls, not even one call to my lawyer, whom I don’t have anyway. The nearest station was an hour away. While I did allow sufficient time to get in my destination, I didn’t count in a pleasure trip in the opposite direction and back. The original trip was now off.

I considered throwing myself under a train Anna Karenina-style, but I decided it would be reckless towards fellow travellers who could still get in their destinations in time. So on returning to my starting point, I limped home, much to the satisfaction of the cat. As a cute coda to a lovely day, I proceeded to break a website I’m working on and lock myself out of admin. Within a few days, also the mystery of my malfunctioning phone alarm was explained, when my phone collapsed entirely. What a delightful time. I blame the tribbles.