It’s Saturday morning and I’m waking up with a cup of coffee… While drinking my coffee, I suddenly think about a lady I met a couple of weeks ago on the train… She has crossed my mind more often in the past few weeks, and I’m not sure why. I’ve met and talked to strangers more often in my life and easily forget about them… but, not this time.
I just returned from a short trip at the airport and was waiting for a train to bring me home. I hardly travel by train, and if I do there are always delays, trains being cancelled, or other things happening that always make me arrive much later than planned at my destination. This is not unusual in The Netherlands, because delays and such happen a lot out here.
But…so far so good! I bought a train ticket…one-way ticket to home and managed to find out which train to take and from which platform that train would leave…
My train arrived, double-checking the sign, which confirmed this was the train I had to take. I got in and while the doors were closing a friendly voice told all passengers through the intercom that the train was going to a destination which wasn’t mine…Amsterdam Central Station…
Amsterdam Central Station?? That is not where I had to go! I won’t share what I thought but I was annoyed enough to message a friend that I managed to get on the wrong train! While sending that message a conversation happening next to me, caught my attention. An English-speaking lady was also confused. She was on the wrong train too! I asked her where she had to go. She had to go to the east of the country and had to travel via the same city where I was supposed to be going to. I told her she could travel with me since we were going the same way. We started talking. She was telling me that she was from Philadelphia. There was a lot of snow around that time and it took her ages to get from her home to the airport. At this point she had already been travelling for 21 hours. I asked her if she was exhausted, but she said she wasn’t because she was a good sleeper and slept for hours on the plane.
At that point in our conversation we arrived at Amsterdam Central Station, got off the train and literally had to run to catch the right train. She was travelling with a backpack and a huge heavy suitcase. I offered to help, but she refused. She could take care of that herself, was what she said.
Once on the right train our conversation went on. I asked her where she was going to and she proudly started telling me about her son, daughter in law and three grandchildren who lived in The Netherlands, for quite some time. She was going to visit them, and would stay for three weeks. She also told me that her husband would come later. I asked her if she didn’t mind travelling alone. She said she didn’t mind that at all. She told me how much she loves travelling. Saying how much she was looking forward to a trip to Hawaii, which she and her husband were planning for their 50th wedding anniversary. It would be the first time that she’d go there and she couldn’t wait.
While talking, she suddenly said that her daughter in law would be worried right now, because due to the delay, she wouldn’t be at her destination at the expected time. Her cell phone was out of order though. Somehow she couldn’t use her phone in The Netherlands. I offered her my phone to call her daughter in law, which she did. Relieved that she could make that phone call, she gave back my phone and thanked me for my kindness.
After that phone call, she clearly was curious about me. She looked at my suitcase and asked where I was travelling from and where I lived. I told her a bit about my short trip and told her where I live. She knew the area where I live, because she had been there before. Meanwhile the train was nearing my destination and hers too, only she had to catch another train to get to her final destination.
We got off the train, shook hands, I wished her a wonderful stay with her son, daughter in law and grandchildren and said goodbye. I went up the escalator and turned around for a second to see if I could see the lady…she was gone… We both went our own way, knowing we would probably never meet again.
That lovely lady has been on my mind since that trip. By now her visit to her son, daughter in law and grandchildren will be nearing its end. I just hope she had a great time.
For only an hour she was part of my life. We will most likely never meet again, but I will remember her for a long time. She was part of the end of a really great short trip I made… a trip I will always remember. And because I will always remember that wonderful short trip, I will probably always remember her.
No blog without a song…
A song that has nothing to do with the story that I just wrote but has everything to do with that short trip I made…
A short trip to Belfast to be at the pre release gig of a new album called ‘Sleep Tonight’ written and produced by Robb Murphy.
His initial plan was to record a relatively quick second acoustic solo album, but along the way the album has grown into something so much more since it was written in Italy in 2012.
You can read all about it in a blog he wrote a while ago:
I’ve seen the process of recording this album, because I’ve been working with Robb Murphy for a quite some time now and I can’t say how proud I am of what he and everyone involved achieved with this album. I admire the perseverance, creativity and skills of all musicians involved. Together they made this album develop into what it is right now…an absolutely beautiful album.
The album features great musicians such as the Ulster String Quartet (Danny McCann-Williams, Sian Hetherington, Nicholas Rippon and Thomas Jackson), Amanda Agnew and Percy Robinson. It was produced by Robb Murphy and Alan Dickson and postproduced by Roger Seibel, SAE Mastering, the man behind Bon Iver, Death Cab For Cutie, Decemberists, and Volcano Choir.
The song I want to share is the title track from this album ‘Sleep Tonight’, featuring the Ulster String Quartet.
And…if you like what you hear…grab the chance to pre-order this amazing album through the following link…;)
The album will be released to the public on the 20th of March.
The album launch concert will take place during the annual Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival on Thursday the 5th of March at the Holiday Inn in Belfast.
Visit the following sites for more info on Robb Murphy and his music: