After two days on aircraft and the generic spaces within i am here, home, back in the UK – whatever that means. The train heads north from London, home bound. Eight months exactly from the day the train headed south towards london; towards the first flight right at the very beginning. A train with clean glass windows and smooth seemingly soft silent tracks.
Almost as silent as the carriage. No eye contact, no words, even from the people less than a metre away across the table. I smile, say hi. Nothing, however i am aware that i look ridicules in my red woollen hat, vintage yellow Burmese shades and shaking with the cold.
The great british public. The race who don’t speak to strangers. Silence, head in books, looking at mobiles, staring into laptops. Distraction to avoid conversation, interaction anything? I join the head down massive and write, whilst interacting with the distant view beyond the window instead. Words sprinkling out in between gazing through the glass at the running cable lines bouncing and the blue sky epically built with glowing structures of cloud. Heading backwards, horses, countryside, studded with trees, space, remnants of industry past but brick formations present. Spiny leafless deciduous trees shooting their first signs of spring; not that i can see from this distance and at this speed.
No hanging out of open doors smoking, no pushing shoving screeming Indians ( sigh ), no Burmese music videos, to tiny Laos bed bus’, no Thai hostesses looking really bored – all replaced with silence, the occasional Geordie accent and the train announcements, which i can hear! However it is comfortable. Rolling green being the biggest contrast to the barren desert of Doha, only yesterday. I will come to pine for this contrast.
Less than two hours and we pull into the station. Friends and family waiting. A rather special meet and greet i am sure. Sad for whatever the last eight months has been to be over. Reflection coming when reality sets in, or is that just it, over, done finished. That was yesterday. Exhausted but horizontal is over the horizon.