Tuesday, February 07, 2012

{part 11}

Young Dumb and in Love by Mat Kearney on Grooveshark
{parts 12345678, 9& 10}

we made it back to the ferry dock with a half hour to spare. the rain was coming down and we were drenched. again. my eyelashes stuck together in little triangles and my hair curled under and adhered itself to my chin. i felt like one of those girls in music videos walking through the rain singing a song about their broken heart, but i probably looked more like a clump of hair pulled out of a shower drain.

we ducked into a shed with a picture of a coffee cup on the door. three small tables and a tiny little counter. a wee coffee maker and a few baked things behind glass. wet, heavy air. a kind old woman and her husband, who'd obviously been out in the rain too. the feeling from the enchanted forest and castle still hung in my head and around the foggy corners of the little coffee shop. the man shook water from his rain hat onto the floor.

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"ah," he said in his thick scottish accent. "worn and weary travellers, i see."

they fed us free mince pies and coffee and commented on how few travellers come around in winter. the woman noted that we were lucky the ferry was going out this week at all, but we already knew that.

 we visited and warmed up and dried off {our faces, at least} and then boarded the ferry.

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the rest of the evening was spent riding and running and asking. we owe a lot to the elderly.

we rode the ferry; we ran, holding tight to each others' hands, through the pelting sleet in mallaig. we realized we didn't know where we were running to. we tapped on a darkened shop window, where an old woman and her silver-haired husband were arranging dangling ceiling snowflakes. they directed us to a restaurant, and told us how to get from there to the train station. they asked where we were going. we shrugged.

"maybe edinburgh?" barclay said. i tried to smile at the man, but my eyelashes were still stuck together and water ran into my mouth. he looked sad for me.

wonder of wonders: when we got to the station there was only one train heading out that night, and we were 15 minutes early. we were going to fort william.

okay.

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we made it to fort william just fine, but discovered when we got there that we didn't want to stay there. we flagged down an older gentleman, who turned out to be a train conductor.

he was probably the nicest man ever. "oh," he said when he'd looked at our train passes, "just get on this train. it's a first-class sleeper to london, but we'll stop in edinburgh."

problem: our train passes were not good for three things: we couldn't leave the uk, we couldn't ride first class, and we couldn't get on those caledonian sleeper cars. not without paying the difference, which would be a few hundred dollars. we politely declined. he politely whispered, "don't worry. i'm in charge, and i say it's ok."

those two sentences are a couple of the most fantastic of all the sentences.

we rode first class back to edinburgh, where our train angel helped us off.

here is where things got tricky.


there is often a reason why there are rules. no reasoning, no rules. usually, anyway. no one would tell you not to stick your head in an alligator's mouth if it wasn't going to bite your face off. this is an important thing to remember, especially when you're travelling in another country.

our train left us for london and we set off through the deserted train station. it was 2 in the morning and we were about ready to crumble into any old bed and sleep like rocks.

it felt funny, making our way through the station that had been so full and bright and bustle-y when we'd left it two days earlier. the lights were mostly off and the shops were closed and dark. we realized then that, because the sleeper train wasn't scheduled to let anyone off in edinburgh, the station in edinburgh would not be expecting anyone to get in at 2 am and, obviously, would close for the night.

the full extent of that fact didn't fully sink in though, until we got to the gate and saw the padlock and jiggled it a bit and found that it stayed fully closed, even with our best wiggles and jiggles.

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this. i thought this was hilarious. i leaned against the gate and laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. barclay shook his head and took my hand. he is slowly growing used to curveballs, but they are still not his favourite. he managed a grin.

"well. looks like we're locked in."

16 comments:

  1. You guys had the best trip ever. Also you should write a book. You're so good at cliffhangers!

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    1. hahahah oh i would love to write a book. and ever chapter would end in, "she was about to die..."

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  2. That conductor man sounds like an angel!

    And how funny you got locked in--hysterical! Definitely a story to tell the children!

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    1. for real! and he was really sweet. sigh. i like people like that.
      and yes, i like this story. :D

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  3. UHHLLLL it sounds like a romantic movie! like the kind of movie i would put on at night alone and ball my eyes out to because it was so lovely. i am such a sap. it may have something to do with how wonderfully you write it, but seriously this is the best story ever. i am so living vicariously through it right now. that is all; i just have to say something on every chapter, i can't help it.

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    1. haha i LOVE that you say something on every "chapter". love love love it.

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  4. Ohhh I think this is my favourite part so far! What a lovely, lovely man. Don't people like that just totally restore your faith in humanity?! :) And a cliffhanger too eeep! I'm guessing you slept in the station, because really what other choice did you have. Looking forward to finding out what happened :)

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    1. for real they do!!
      as for sleeping in the station...i guess you'll just have to hang on this cliff till...like...monday or something. :) haha.

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  5. sometimes you have to laugh or you'd cry! Better to be locked in than locked out though....loving your travel stories :)

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    1. so true. i much prefer laughing. :)

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  6. This whole adventure should just be a novel or a movie. It's beautiful and unexpected. Your writing is captivating my dear!
    Can't wait to read the next part!
    :)

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    1. aw, thanks amy! :) that's a beautiful thing to say.

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  7. Oh my gosh! Locked in!! That's amazing. I can't wait to read the next installment.

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    1. haha well i'm excited to write it! this is quite fun for me..

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  8. Whoa, that's weird! I always assumed if a train stops somewhere the station has to be open? haha I love the way you guys travel.

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    1. i know right??? i assumed that too.
      but i suppose...if there's not a scheduled stop?
      weird.
      anyways.
      i love the way we travel too. i dream about this trip every single night.

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