Sleeping Car

Holidays. Forgetting everything for a change. We, Chris and I, travel by sleeping car to my mother in Holstein. Chris actually said that we would have to save money and should take a couchette. But I wanted to splurge this time: Not in the open-plan couchette of the Deutsche Bahn night train where one is awakened every half hour by the toilet flush, and where every two minutes the automatic door bangs. It’s possible to turn off the automatic doors, but surely some idiot who doesn’t have to sleep next to the door will soon turn it back on.

No. I wanted to cruise at peace to the North in a sleeping car. A compartment for the two of us, a bottle of wine in the backpack and two little real ceramic cups, so we can drink with style on the holidays.

And in what do we drive? Christine nearly has a stroke. “So much money for a dwelling toilet?”, she says. Anyhow, it’s a new design: Light-gray in light-gray. Milk-glass windows without curtains (just as in a toilet), with a view at a light-gray plastic hand-basin.

To lie down and simply miss the aesthetics of this sleeping compartment by sleeping. We would like to do that, but we can’t because for the modern folding mechanism of the beds the help of the conductor is an absolute must. He has warned us immediately after boarding not to tackle it by ourselves if we want to preserve our hands intact and not crushed.

So, now we are sitting well together on the ugly two-seated sofa watching the washbasin. Then, after a while, the conductor comes and unfolds the beds. We marvel that we can acutally stretch our legs in this tiny compartment as we lie down in our box bed.

Translated from: Marinus Münster, “Dilldöppchen”, Publishing House: Geest-Verlag 2004