TB's Tale of Woe
"How To Attend a JJ2 Meeting"
By Alister Thomson
Saturday:
6:30 Realise I haven't had dinner. Madly chop up chicken
     with little regard for fingers.
7:30 Arrive at bus stop, 2 minutes after the bus has left.
     Run all the way to the bus station, from which I
     catch a bus to the train station.
8:21 Train leaves Luxembourg for Brussels. I try to get
     some shuteye until two delinquents board the train
     and proceed to make as much noise as they can.
23:08 They finally get off. 7 minutes later...
23:15 Train arrives at my station (Brussels North).
      A bunch of Russians try to be sociable. We have a
      stimulating conversation. Well, it would have been
      stimulating, if there was any language we both spoke.
      Or if they were sober. Eventually they establish I'm
      from Scotland and they begin to make what can only be
      described as kilt gestures. At least, I HOPE that's
      what they were doing.
      To be fair, I don't think the two children were drunk.
23:30 My train arrives. They're taking the same train.
      But they eventually get off. I still haven't had any
      sleep, and now I stay awake so I don't miss my stop.

Sunday
0:38 I arrive at Antwerp Central Station. Which promptly
     closes for the night. I start wandering aimlessly around
     Antwerp. There are no public lavatories. I eventually find
     a portapotty next to some roadworks.
3:00 Tired of wandering, I return to the station, equipped with
     a bag of crisps and a 2 litre bottle of water (because I
     was THIRSTY). Eventually go to sleep in the gap between a
     phone booth and a wall. It is cold, the heatwave having
     chosen that very day to end. At one point my sleep is
     interrupted by the arrival of an ambulance to take one
     of my fellow street-dwellers away.
5:00 Around this time, the station reopens. I manage to get
     stuck in a toilet, but escape when I uncover the intricacies
     of the locking mechanism (the intricacy in question being
     the requirement of brute force).
6:28 My train leaves. I am on it. All is well.
6:57 Arrival at Roosendaal. I need to go to the toilet again.
     They are locked.
7:26 Train leaves for Tilburg.
8:08 I arrive at Tilburg. I have 1.5 hours to kill. I brush my
     teeth then wander around.
9:40 Really, really tired, I meet Newspaz and Slayo.

22:02 Train Pyro and I need to catch is due to leave.
22:03 I check my watch. We promptly run. No train.
22:39 This is when the train we were supposed to catch was
      scheduled to arrive in Dordrecht. From there we would
      catch a second train to Antwerp. But it turns out the first
      train has been cancelled.
      So we've caught a train to Breda, and then a train to
      Roosendaal.
23:10 Catch the second train. Running involved.
23:32 Arrive at Antwerp, where I bid Pyro adieu.

Monday
00:24 This time I manage to get on a train before I'm forced
      to sleep on the street.
      At this point, I have only had about three hours' sleep
      since I awoke on Saturday morning.
1:17 Train arrives at my stop, Brussels North.
1:20 Train arrives at Brussels Central. Having fallen asleep,
     I am still on it. Not for long, though. I am woken up by
     the railway staff and ejected from the station, which
     promptly... that's right... closes.
     So I've missed my stop and I can't catch a train back.
     Luckily there is a bus stop nearby with a map of Brussels.
     I am then able to walk to Brussels North. It's actually
     quite a short walk, but for some reason it takes half an hour.
2:00 I arrive at Brussels North. Guess what. It's closed. But at
     least this time there are benches on which to sleep. I find
     a spot which is as far as possible from the turd and doesn't
     smell of urine. I sleep bathed in the glow of the World
     Trade Centre lights.
4:00 Station reopens. I go and sit on a bench inside. Transvestite
     arrives and falls asleep next to me.
5:45 Train home arrives. Journey goes without incident. Or so
     I assume. I'm alseep, safe in the knowledge that Luxembourg
     is the terminus and I won't end up in Germany. It's very easy
     to accidentally find yourself in another country when you live
     in Luxembourg.


Copyright © Alister Thomson, unless otherwise specified.