back on the main line

On the train from Dresden to Prague, making its way from Berlin to Vienna, I got a shock: plugged back into the high voltage European backpacker circuit, every compartment filled with people half my age in big groups doing it because that’s what you do when you’re that age. There was no space at all, so I made for the restaurant car, fortunately in time to get a seat; within ten minutes it was filling with backpacker overflow. Ahead of me Americans, playing cards (because “scrabble is boring”); to my left, Spanish, playing cards and good-naturedly drinking beer; to my right, English, drinking beer and effing and blinding; behind me, Germans, discussing and analysing. I have to say I love it, even if I dread what kind of circus Prague is going to be…

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