Friday, June 13, 2008

Ou est le Gare?

Train trade, China
photographed by Wang Fuchun in 1995,
both photos from Letters from China

I'm hankering for a train ride. Maybe it's because I was talking with a certain tea-aficionado last night about her luxe train-ride from NY to Boston but it sounded so simple, the photos taken out the window so poetic, it got me to thinking about some spectactular train rides I've taken, particularly a trip from San Francisco to Denver and all, no doubt, any and all of the train rides in China and India--some of those not always simple.

But once you board, once you find your seat, you can really just sit and the adventure kind of comes to you: the scenes that go whizzing by the window from second to second, who comes through the door for a ticket or with some morning chai, who you might get to know for those hours or days and what you might learn*, it'll all like watching your own movie. Not to get all Simon and Garfunkel on you but there is a little poetry and a lot of cinema in every frame.

Am dreaming about a trip in India.
The actual little train to Darjeeling
And the one from the movie
uh, maybe not this one.

Or Canada:

Or France (maybe in October?)
The new TGV (second class) interiors, designed by Christian Lacroix

* I learned that "pinguo" means apple in Mandarin from a little boy with rosy cheeks on a train from Kunming to Guanzhou-that was his nickname---I also learned Mao's favorite card game)


ana dane said...

i'd take any of those trains right now, even if i had chickens on my lap.

the bus just pales in comparison. there's absolutely nothing romantic about it.

molly said...

i rode the train from nyc to canada once to take a craft class and it was a gorgeous trip. someday i'll post those photos.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

My favorite train trip in the US was from San Francisco to Colorado Springs to see my brother who was in Aspen that summer. The train went through the mountains. It was very Old West.