P. Edronkin

Murder Fantasies On The Dovre Express

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Some years ago I found myself travelling thorough Norway in the 'Dovre Express' which is a very nice train that runs between Oslo and Trondheim.

Hours before taking it I had arrived from Goteborg, in Sweden, also by railroad; I had to change trains at Oslo's Mani Station which at the time was undergoing some major recontruction work.

It was winter and the station was a mess; there was no place to stay where you would not feel the wind and chill from the exterior, and I just had 'The Hitch Hikers' Guide To The Galaxy' to read, fittingly enough.

I could not sleep well the night before; I finished the book soon enough and the well-below zero temperature did not allow me to stay quiet long enough to take a nap.

In other words, I spent a couple of hours counting snowflakes until the new train was set at the platform, half an hour late or so, because there was not much else to do and not enough to do anything in the city.

As soon as it was possible, I jumped into my coach and quickly found my reserved seat; it was paradise since the heating system as duly working inside the train, but a baby began crying and soon the amazing decibels broke the harmony of the moment in which I saw that heated vent near me like a saint just returned to Earth. Half an hour later, it was still crying.

But the situation began to reach the status of a full-scale drama about four hours later, as the baby continued crying with undeniable vigour and while its parents undeniably denied to acknowledge the fact that 'it' was in need of something, while a snowstorm forced the train to stop an infinity of times along the way, as if Thor would enjoy himself making my life and that of my fellow passegers more miserable.

Three or four hours later we made it into Trondheim; I had at that time a good, solid headache and as most passengers, imagined how we would kick those folks (small dictator included, probably) out into the storm.

If this escapade into modern Scandinavian torture techniques was worth anything is because it teached me that we should always take along in our trips enough entertainment to endure any kind of circumstances, unending trips and shrieking babies.

MP3 music players are a good choice for such missions, since it is very easy to transport them, and you can easily (legally, please!) download music from the Internet.

Card and table games may be good as well, but in essence, anything that could conceivably distract our minds may become the only difference between sanity and madness at the hands of little fascists such as the one I had met on that winter night.

Otherwise, you should pay a first-class ticket whenever you travel like I always do ever since, just in case.

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