Budapest to Košice train

Friday, June 21, 2013

When I took a train from Budapest to Košice, I saw the scene below. It's now featured on FoundPlays as one of their little moments of drama. For Foundplays, I re-wrote the scene in a more play-like form, but here it is as I saw it.


An early morning train from Budapest to Košice in Slovakia: Budapest station still murky and dark, with announcements mumbled in Hungarian.

Many passengers boarded; this was the only daily train on the route.

A man got on, with a huge suitcase. He looked smartly unkempt, wearing a white shirt (slightly askew and with vest peeping out at the belly) and grey suit trousers (a bit stained). He was a big bear of a man with a large bushy beard. He carefully took his seat.

Some minutes later a group of eight English tourists bustled on (travelling to a wedding in Kosice).

"You're in our seat", one of the group, a middle aged man, brusquely protested.

The burly man stood his ground, looking confused more than anything.

"We have all eight of these seats," said a woman from the group.

"This is my seat," said the Hungarian man.

"No it's ours," said the English man. "There's your ticket... Show me your ticket!," he said, quite forcefully.

They stood looking at each other for a good half minute before the burly man moved away to a nearby seat.

The English group spent rest of the journey laughing loudly. The burly man sat a few seats away, but periodically stood up and walked along the aisle. As he passed them, the group spoke in stage whispers.