Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Tics (not a very serious post...)

Britta Huegel

"Would you have married me if I had looked like this?" asked my father, and distorted his face to a horrible sight. 
"No", my mother cooly answered. 
Well - I remembered this incident ("No real love!" my father said and grinned), while sitting in the train from Berlin to Bremen via Hamburg. To Hamburg it takes two hours. 
The train was too late (as often), but I found a good seat and started to write. 
"RRRR - mmh - rrrgrrr - mm", it started two rows behind me. 
Not a dog - a man. Harrumphing. And it didn't stop. 
For two minutes: silence, then it started again: 
"RRR - mmmmmm - rrrrgchck.
A man with a vocal tic in his chest. Horrible. 
I took my I-pod. It blarred "LUCILLE!" into my ears, or "Highway to Hell" - but "Rrrrr - mmk - mmk - rrrrgk" - clear and loud. (My ears started to hurt, and I didn't know whether it was the music or the tic). 
I tried it with ear plugs - 
"mmm rrrgk mmchmm rurg...
It wasn't a cough, and it wasn't temporarily. It was a habit, a tic. 
So I put my pen down. Took my jacket. Went into another coach. Found a good seat. Placed my jacket - went back, fetched my suitcase and LEFT. Sometimes you have to. 
Now I sit here and all is fine. 
(The woman three seats behind me only rasps every 20 minutes - that is OK! ) 


  1. Oh Britta ..... isn't it annoying. We were on the train last Sunday and a woman in front of us kept sniffing ..... she didn't have a cold , it was definitely a habit ..... you can tell. A friend of mine usually tells them to stop it, but I just can't !!
    Happy Sunday to you ..... we are about to get this big storm, so we've been in the garden putting anything that's not nailed down, in the shed ..... lets hope the shed doesn't blow away. It is a brick one so we stand a chance that it will still be standing !! XXXX

  2. Dear Jackie,
    I also cannot tell them - think, that if it is a habit, they do it unconsciously and cannot stop it.
    I hope the storm will not be too heavy - good that you have a solid shed! XXX

  3. My dear Britta,

    One must do what they must to get some peace!