Isn't this a recipe for a comic situation? A man boards a wrong train and meets random people to become a butt of jokes. Very often, comedy results from this situation. Two weeks back, I along with 3 other friends boarded the wrong train. We were supposed to board a train to Belgium Central to catch another one to Amsterdam. Instead, we boarded a train running on a long route with less stops in a different direction. As a result, we ended up in city named Leuven in Belgium. There was a bit of comedy initially. But we had a very tranquil experience.
Leuven is a sleepy little town with a very big railway station which is currently under construction. Though it was difficult to locate the functioning office, I was glad everyone associated with the railway station could talk English. The lines were longer and everyone in the line seems to be a student. All of them were applying for their train passes and hence the lines were moving very slowly. Moreover, the automated ticket machines would recognize neither ATM cards nor credit cards. Waiting patiently in the queue was the only option.When I reached the counter, they quickly resolved my dilemma by giving me a ticket to Mechelen where I could board my original train.
The train to Mechelen was a local one. It was smaller in size, completely packed with passenger. It also had numerous stops before arriving at my final destination. Fortunately, the sights outside were refreshing. The train mostly traveled through the country side. There was greenery along the route. The route was devoid of the concrete skyscrapers or suburbia. Usually, this is a right occasion to search for the bar or humor everyone with bad jokes. But my companions were unusually quiet. They were all gazing out the window absorbing the serenity of a European country side. It was a very different experience when compared to the journey in Thalys. All along the trip, one of my friend wanted to rent a car for taking us from one point to another as he wanted to see the countryside. Fortunately for him, he got his chance although it was as a result of boarding the wrong train.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. We got the connecting train without any issues. This time, we made sure we asked fellow travelers if we were on the right train. We arrived in Amsterdam when the sun was about to set giving a golden tinge to the Amsterdam Centraal and also the Victoria hotel facing the railway station.