East

Dec. 23

I am sitting on a train, headed from Switzerland to Austria two days before Christmas. The old, loud man next to me just finished his third tall-can of German beer.

It’s 10:30 a.m.

…Only ¼ of the way through this journey. As the consistent sound of metal on metal gently rocks the train back and forth I look out the window to see endless amounts of naked trees in white dress; houses sprinkled with sugar; mountain tops topped with marshmallows.

I see a couple, bundled in hats and gloves walking an excited dog. I see children dirtying up the pristine snow. I see a dedicated man shoveling his driveway.

What would it be like to live in a town like this? Do they still borrow sugar from their neighbors?

I watch as the brown-white-green scenery whizzes by me.  The white baking-powder-covered ground beckoning me to disturb its stillness.  Riding-hood-red benches dot the clear blue Swiss lake.

Dec. 29

One week until I hop on a plane and return home. I am currently writing from my hostel in Budapest, Hungary at 3 a.m. I can’t sleep. I want to be awake and alive for the last 168 hours. I stay up flirting with the cute local working the front desk. A drunk Swiss man just stumbled in the door asking if we were in Bulgaria, kebab sauce dribbled all over his mumbling face. “God gave me loudness,” he says (so I’ve noticed),  “I love Bulgaria!”

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