Quiet In The Cheap Seats - Part Deux
Liege Travel Blog› entry 72 of 94 › view all entries
Waiting was to be the theme of the day. As the Eurostar I was catching wasn’t departing until 19.30, I had 2.5 hours to fill in and I walked around a bit, ate some more of Margaret’s donated food, and then hit the bookstore purchasing two large paperbacks – one on the history of London and the other on the Origins of the First World War. Just a bit of light reading to get me through the next leg.
The journey I had paid for was cheap.
In Liege there is nothing to do. I think I need to emphasize that more. There is NOTHING to do except sit and wait – 5 hours in total. The seats are made of stone and are cold especially as the winter wind blows from the tracks above down into the open train station. However, I could deal with that. I had all my clothes that I had traveled with, on and I was feeling ok.
Instead I spent the evening sitting on a piece of paper which I placed over a inbuilt floor lamp hoping to capture the heat off it, while I watched as homeless people walk around the station.
Years earlier I had a similar situation, I had read the timetable wrong and my boyfriend and I had to sleep with the homeless people then as well. That was in Brussels and that evening was the first time I’ve had a gun pointed to my face by police, or by anyone really. They wanted to get the homeless people to move and assumed that we were homeless as well.
Rather than explaining to them in Dutch, I took the role of an uncomfortable backpacker and spoken nothing but English to them.
Now, it looked as if History was repeating except when train security came past (and only once I might add during that entire time), they never asked me what I was doing there and nor did they do anything to the man clearly working with his needles, which he later used. It was going to be a long night.
But I occupied myself as best I could – speaking to the local people who stayed in the station who seemed interested in what I was doing there and after the long hours, I got to leave vowing never to repeat this experience in a Belgium train station for a third time.
And then I got underway on the rest of the journey to the safety and warmth of home. I can’t wait for sleep. It had been a long and eventful day. I’ve learnt a lot about people; I’d seen the good and I’d seen some people who had lost their way. But not me, I know where I’m going and that is straight to sleep in my own bed.