Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Scared Sleepless on a Ghost Train

Fuck. Sorry. It's been that kind of night.

My bike adventure of yesterday was followed by another dash in the still drizzling rain to the S-Bahn station and on to Ostbahnhof to catch my night train to Paris. Made the train, settled into my bunk and was looking forward to some much-needed sleep.

Sometime in the middle of the night I wake up. Cold. Look around and see that my blanket, which I had wrapped around me was on the floor ! a little fuzzed out, i recovered it and tried to go back to sleep. a little later, i feel my pillow being pulled away from me. didn't make much of it in my half-asleep state. pulled it back in place. it happened again after a little while, and with my sleep now slowly getting shot, i thought it was due to the train slowing down maybe. some more time passes and my sheet is now pulled in the other direction. jeesus, i was a little psyched out by now; the train was dark and i look around and everyone was asleep. I tried to go back to sleep too. At this point, I was thinking ghosts.

Then I had a nightmare moment when I feel my hand getting grabbed from below. I'm fully awake now. Fuck. Sit up and wait for like 10 minutes. All I hear is the rhythmic motion of the train. Then, it hit me.

There was this really raggedy looking dude who had the lower berth and when the conductor had come by to check tickets, he asked for the top one. He was told that it was a full train - at which point he got irritated and said that he didn't like the lower berth and REALLY needed the upper one.

so, i look down slowly and this guy is like sleep-walking zhile sleeping in his bed, hand and legs going all over. man, i was freaked out. I dozed off again, and this time was woken up by a dream (i sure hope it was one :-) where this dude levitates up from his bunk and is floating in between the two middle bunks, right next to me. that woke me up fast. Realized there was no floating going on, but another mini-panic set in. When I went to bed, the bunk across from me was empty! there was a man with his baby son and the kid was crying so he slept next to his dad on the top berth (i was in the middle in a 3-level sleeper). I looked closer in the dark and it seemed like the guy in the bunk across was the strange dude.

So, who the fuck was in the bunk below ?

With no further appetite for answers, i just sat tight through the occasional kick to the berth and pulls of the sheets and made it through the night. I dozed off sometime along the way and when i woke it up it was just me and another lady with a little baby. the rest of the folks were gone.

Phew. Got like an hour of sleep before the train rolled into Paris Gare du Nord. This has to be the funkiest experience I have had in a long long time. wow.


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