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October 15th 2006
Published: October 15th 2006
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I arrived after the train ride from hell. SIX of us in one train compartment, for TWELVE hours- from Salamanca. That's 12 hours of not stretching out to any great satisfaction. A few times I was tempted to get out at some stop along the way, but resigned myself to it, deciding that it was now or later.

I climbed up the stairs and approached the desk where a stocky man around mid 60's sat with an 'official' air about him as if his job had some importance - the universal Javiux. Another man stood leaning against the desk. I started in - 'English?' No - not a word of English. The man just shook his head as if he couldn't be bothered. All indications alerted me that I was wasting my time, but I started again - 'uno noche' again the man shook his head without barely looking up. The other man standing by in his effort to be helpful indicated to me that he knew English by throwing my inquiry to the man with the same reply. I looked around at some of the guests, each one looking ominously similar to some throwback to the cold war. I decided to take the reply jokingly- 'Awe' , I said to the man that knew English, 'can't this place be like a cemetery - always room for one more (guffaw guffaw)'. This went right over the man's head. The man's understanding of English apparently didn't include jokes, and I didn't feel like explaining myself, so I said 'never mind' and bolted out the door, convinced that I would stand a better chance of getting a bed for the night through this man if I was a half brother to Slobodan Milosevic. I guess I needed a few crimes against humanity up my sleeve before I found favor with this guy~ maybe then I'd get a room at his miserable hole in the wall~
(to be continued)


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