Now a list of further oddities and amusements from the train:
- Dave had a book next to him as he was trying to sleep sitting up. The local opposite saw this and having failed to sleep himself, decided that the book would make a good pillow, casually picking it off the seat, placing it on the table and proceeding to mould his head into the cover. Dave, confused and annoyed but still British tapped the man shortly after he looked like he'd finally nodded off and asked "I'd like to read that please".
- We may bring a bag on a train, maybe a suitcase, maybe a bike. Here, anything goes. We had one woman who may have been moving house - one by one she moved a series of cardboard boxes onto the train, stacking them in the aisle and squashing some into the bag racks with no embarassment. I've already mentioned the sacks of grass and there was fruit as well, and I swore I heard birds singing from one case as it passed me.
- A stylish looking local with a briefcase was sat opposite us using a Blackberry. He'd chosen the Windows XP statup sound for his text tone, a choice as bemusing as it is irritating.
- Face masks; I've seen them before over here but never on the train was their ridiculousness more exposed. Here we have an enclosed space, full of 80 people (per carriage, 9 in total) sitting, chatting, sleeping, eating, even changing babies. We have a toilet which is a hole in the base of the train, open windows and insects flying in at each stop, dirty water from a machine to drink or from a tap to wash (no soap observed). Despite this, a large proportion of the women still wore their face masks, with the older ones still wearing their hats, giving the pre-described ninja look.
- The naked baby. I'm unsure how this kid kept getting out of his clothes, or if there were multiples I couldn't tell apart. All I know is that every time he appeared, he'd be in front of Dave. First as Dave sat down the kid was on the seat, actually rubbing against him as his mother tried leaning over to pick him up; then a number of times whilst trying to sleep the kid would run past. The best time he missed it entirely, but as he stood washing his hands, who should appear behind him but the baby, entirely naked, standing as if waiting until just by chance he heard his mother call and ran the opposite direction, Dave turning to see me in fits of laughter at his near predicament.