Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

First time EVER that I ...

 ... missed a train! 

"My" Bavarian village owns a luxury item: a little red train which comes every half hour with a loud "Tooooot!" Here you see the station one village further - with two tracks and two platforms - while we have only one track and one platform - and the Flying Dutchman's standard joke is "Remember: departure from Track 1!" 


The trip from Nürnberg to Berlin is quick: I can use the super-version of the ICE, the "sprinter", which sometimes makes 300 km/h - at it's best it needs only 2 hours and 50 minutes for 379 kilometres. 
(The fly in the ointment: to get to my village the little red train needs about 25 minutes for about 25 kilometres, ok - but I have to wait for it in Nürnberg 56 minutes! Almost an hour!) 

Well - another Buddhist lesson in acceptance and serenity. 

My father trained me to become a traveler of the punctual sort (success!) and the relaxed nonchalant sort (dead loss!) - he always (!) walked with me along the whole waiting train, outside! - to find a "better compartment". As you might have noticed children are often very anxious "to get in" and push and shove. So: sorry but my father's educational method to steel my girlish nerves were not successful. But:  
Never in my life I missed a train. 

But here, where the station is only 5 minutes away from my lodging: IT happened - I missed it! 
I was awake so early, prepared my apartment for a happy return, even had a nonchalant chat with my neighbour - and went, without hurry. 
At the foot of the hill I saw the little red train. It seemed to wait. (Village-kindness!) 
Strange, I thought - must be going into the other direction. It is too early. 

No! I was too late! 

The battery of my smart little ( analog) Longine wristwatch which I love so much that I only seldom look at the digital fitness clock on my right arm had run low...  





20 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about being anxious to be on time for a train whilst the person you are with is dawdling along as if they have is all the time in the world - which in truth they do and there is. Our local train, too, is "another Buddhist lesson in acceptance and serenity".

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    1. Oh Tasker, I do love British trains - and ours here is a nice reminder of it.
      "...all the time in the world - which in truth they do and there is" - true!
      I once learned from a passenger who told me: "Now you are "in" - nothing you can change now - just relax!"

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  2. Oh Britta, I was (we were) on such a beautiful red train (one track and one platform) about 10 days ago .....in Altenahr! We had a lovely holiday, so beautiful there. A couple of days after we left, it all happenend. I am devastated. We noticed that in this little place a couple of hotels didn't survive Covid. All for sale. And now this! Shocking. Our hotel Zur Post (am Ahr) was on Dutch television last night. The water was in some places 7 meters high. The beatiful bridges we walked on are no longer there. Bad Neuenahr and Ahrweiler also terrible.

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    1. Dear Guusje, your tale of Altenahr is so disturbing: to remember a beautiful holiday time and then to see pictures on TV that show chaos and destruction!
      One is glad that one has escaped - but feels deeper with the victims.
      After (after ?) Covid now another blow - horrible.
      And to imagine that were you spent so happy hours - in the same house now gurgling with water.
      Horrid - and to anticipate that this was not the last time nature slashes back...

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  3. My Dad instilled punctuality in us so I know how you feel Britta ! Don’t worry about it …. It was the fault of your watch ! XXXX

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    1. Dear Jacki, I'm glad to see that your arm must have healed - or is getting better - thank you for writing!
      Yes - that watch... beautiful, but not so functional as the digital ones. And a lesson on inflation:
      I needed a new watchband. Two years ago this special Longinge-band cost about 70 Euro. Now they asked 105 Euro. And then at the till the man said: "Oh sorry, they changed the price - it is 150 Euro now!" (the old price still at it!)
      We had chattered a bit before and admired our rings - so he said: "Wait, I'll try something..." - and managed that I got it for 105 Euro - and I had to be happy about that.
      Which I was. But it might make us afraid what they have in store for us (will write a post over gastronomy soon).

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  4. I am the same as you Britta, never late and always early for trains, appointments, meetings, you name it, I will always be there early and first. I have one dreadful experience of being late for an important interview and like you, it was down to a watch battery going flat. It was horror of horrors for me. xxx

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    1. I am glad to hear that, Rachel - I often think that in many ways we are alike. So I can feel with you the horror of once in a lifetime being late to an interview!
      (I once had to park my then quite big car, an Audi 100, in a very small gap in front of the highest hierachy administration where I sometimes worked - being a bit late - and usually a highly gifted only-forward-parking-space-user - the stress gave me and my car wings - I managed to fit in in a minute :-) xxx

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  5. The failure of our devices can cause so much trouble.

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    1. Dear Emma, yes - and such a watch does not show it in advance that it will give up the ghost! :-)

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  6. Oh, how awful. I'm an early bird, too. Punctual. There a couple minutes early, generally. I hope you have the battery replaced now.

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    1. Dear Joanne, yes, I have replaced the battery (which isn't easy, only special horological shops, thus I had to wait for Berlin). But the watch still cheats about a minute or two - for a Buddhist nothing to worry about, for me: teaching me to look at the digital as well...

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  7. A unique experience can lead to an interesting reflection on the art of punctuality, patience and acceptance! Did you wait on the platform for the next train or hide in the bushes? I rather expect that if the town is small enough, there would have been witnesses, and no doubt a bit of chatter about this!

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    1. Yes, Pipistrello, I hope that it will remain a "unique" experience!

      This time the watch was "guilty", but there might come the day when I will become like "Onkelschrompel" (a Mumin-Troll of Tove Jansson). He is very old, a bit oblivious - but he only forgets things he wants to forget.

      Self-awareness whispers into my ear that unpretentiousness is not my prominent character trait, and my suitcase gleams in soft silver-pink... so I didn't hide myself or the suitcase under the bushel :-)

      The next fastest train from Nürnberg to Berlin would leave in more than two hours, so I snatched my heavy things and walked up the hill the Queen Lucia way - head high, lightening up the village day with MY version of the story.

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    2. I hope there's a loyal Georgino-mio to back up your version in your absence, hahah!!

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    3. The Flying Dutchman sits in the Netherlands. Uno, due, tre...

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  8. I like being punctual and on time too. Missing the train due to your failed watch was disappointing but also not your fault. These things happen occasionally to everyone. I hope you found a park or lovely shop or cafe to wait for the next train. Making the occasional unfortunate mishap pleasant always works for me. My last recovery from a "mishap" resulted in totally unplanned purchase of antique jewelry in a tiny unique shop.

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    1. Dear Susan, the good thing is that my apartment in Bavaria is only five minutes away from that little station. So I could spend my "free time" there - after walking up the very steep hill with all the luggage for my Berlin-stay.

      I love the way you turn a "mishap" into an occasion to discover something new!

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  9. It is amazing what makes us think about our loved but lost parents... for you it was waiting for the train and reliving your father's important family values. For me, it was watching the Wimbledon Tennis Open and remembering how much my parents loved to play tennis together. Even at 80, they never ever missed their weekly game.

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  10. Dear Helen, sorry that I answer so late!
    Yes, it is interesting what makes us remember persons, or events that happened a long time ago.
    Impressing that your parents played tennis even at 80 - I think that is what keeps one youthful: enthusiasm, not comparing what one does to former performances but doing it out of the sheer joy one feels in doing it, and loving life. A great gift!

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