Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness and the Night Train

We heard that Spokane is hosting the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This thought crossed our minds last night as we were held captive on a 10-hour night train from Arad to Bucharest. March Madness has taken on new meaning!

Our escapade began quite innocently. We had promised to visit an organization 300 miles away and planned to fly until we priced the tickets and realized our budget would not allow such frills. Plan B was the night train. Sleeper cars are decent and if you go 1st class, you are assured a private room for two (rather than a private bed with 6!) Unfortunately, the return trip sleepers were sold out. and we were forced to endure 10 hours of pretend sleeping with characters we can't begin to describe.

The outbound trip to Arad was delightful punctuated by pressed sheets, fluffy pillows and a private sink to freshen-up. After our business meeting, we boarded the train in the evening and settled in our 1st class compartment thinking we would be just fine in an upright position all night. After all, haven't we all slept sitting-up on airplanes?

First one in our cabin was a nice man who made himself at home immediately.

Denny was a good sport as his sleeping partner nearly used him as a pillow!

Next in was another nice man (although not a spokesman for Irish Spring!) He was very interesting and talkative and we got the history of the 1989 Romanian Revolution from him. He was a demonstrator against the Communist regime and was wounded in the gun battle. After 2 hours of our history lesson (around 2 o'clock) we picked up three women from a stop along the way. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of their cranky faces as they were bent on taking our window seats as we were actually in the wrong seats, yada, yada yada. Romanians are very anal about their assigned seats and will make you move. (We were in the seats in the first place because our seats were occupied in another cabin and we are too easy-going!)

Move we did! We found seats in the open section. By this time we were really having a blast!

If this looks miserable, it is because IT WAS.

We arrived back in Bucharest at 5 a.m. armed with the resolve to never, ever take a night train again without the benefit of a private sleeping cabin.
Yet another lesson in the Linerud Book of Live and Learn! This is our version of March Madness! Did we say we love this mission? Okay...let us get a nap first!


  1. Oh Mom, I'm so sorry. That looks horrible. I hope you staggered back to the apartment that morning and took an eight hour nap. I miss you and love you, Jonathan

  2. Ouch! Remember a night flight on the last row of the center section from Tel Aviv to New York? This sounds worse! Did Denny make you do "seat aerobics" to keep from breaking the window and jumping? Ahhh, the memories of "good times". Someday, this infamous ride will be funny, too. Te iubesc.