A good marriage

Amsterdam Zuid – Leiden “I walked 3,4 kilometre today.” “Hmm.” “That’s what it says.” “Yea.” “Including two hours in the concert hall.” “Tja.” “Cycling counts too, though.” “Oh.” “4331 steps. And it’s almost tomorrow.” “True.” “What about all those stairs though. I guess they don’t count.” “No.” “Not fair.” “…”

Oh, how the times

Leiden – Groningen “They’re young. Must feel like a lifetime away”, Willem puffs. I laugh. Look at us, four grey heads, worrying about our kids’ pensions. “With the current interest rates…” Thea nods, her face serious. And there it comes, home-made coffee and sliced raisin bread. A grin spreads on Read more…

Second impressions

Amersfoort – Hilversum A pair of dirty sneakers stretched out onto a suitcase. Two bags and another suitcase. It’s a six-person compartment, but it looks full. I slow down, annoyed, doubtful. Then I make eye contact with a friendly pair of eyes, belonging to the dirty shoes. She pulls her Read more…

Suspicious scents

Schiphol – Zwolle I sniff him – suspicious! He’s next to me, waiting for the train to stop moving. Only a few more seconds, then he’ll be gone. I scour him for details. Are his shoes dirty? Or his fingernails? A large yellow suitcase with the letters AMS, but no Read more…

Knolpower

Zwolle – Leiden Awesome, the newest Enzo Knol-vlog. Nibbling on a ladyfinger, he silently thanked mom for the ten bucks they got every week for something to eat on the train. He tried to open a Kinder Chocolate onehandedly, listening to Enzo talk about pizza. Didn’t that Haribo-bag have little Read more…

Tattletale

Utrecht – Rotterdam Alexander Like everyone in this compartment, Tycho had an open study book in front of him. Something-something anatomy, but he kept getting distracted. The beeping and vibrating of his phone, lady-behinds passing by and the frantic typing of the girl next to him. What would she be Read more…

Frustration management

Lelystad – Steenwijk “Why do teenage girls giggle?”, I type into my Google search bar. Maybe there’s a good reason, I think while my hypodermic irritation bubbles. It started with two, in front of me. Now there’s three more behind me. It’s spreading. “By stimulating other girls to giggle with Read more…

Protagonist

Leiden – Delft He understood life better than others. His delicate grey coat, buttoned-up neatly, his pointy nose and sharp eyes registering everything. His curls were not quite pulled down by gravity yet. In every story, he would be the main character. He could do things others can’t, he noticed Read more…

You never know

Heerenveen – Schiphol She occupies three seats, one for her, two for her bags. Annoyed, I pull up an eyebrow. She jumped the queue when entering the train too. She rummages through a bag, and I chuckle. This is how my mum would pack; stuffing a set of towels in Read more…

Innocent yet annoying

Amsterdam Zuid – Almere Civilised annoyance right and left, but they’ve got no leg to stand on. One woman appears mildly amused, the rest of the compartment radiates anxious aversion. They are in the connection piece, not the compartment, the rules are different out there. And they don’t actually bother Read more…

Dame d’Complain

Delft – Leiden Vincent scrambled for a different topic while Cora complained about her son. “I could sell my house for a good price, but there are no properties to buy back!” His voice was too loud. Cora glanced sideways, annoyed. “Toine’s not taking care of himself. He lives on Read more…

Cold and sweet

Delft – Leiden I tap the plastic with a vague sense of doom. Not at all what I expected. They can’t spell my name, that’s the first myth confirmed. I thrash my straw through the goo, the texture is closer to a slush puppy than a coffee. I push the Read more…

Heerenveen – Zwolle

Severely annoyed he stared at the abundance of colors on his screen. He pressed the green circle, but nothing happened. Damn it, his grandson had explained it all this morning. This program was supposed to give him access to all music he could think of, a clear improvement on the Read more…

Delft – Leiden

“Why do I keep doing this to myself”, he says with a smile on his lips. I smile with him internally, I know how much he likes this. “Do you want to practice a little?” I nod. “Hana, dul, set, net”, he starts chanting. My head feels foggy, I’m tired. Read more…

Leiden – Zwolle

They were chatting elatedly. She loved it, particularly in public like this. Francine sounded incredibly posh. Her own r’s rolled nicely as well, but Francine really brought it home. After spending time in the company of Francine she always felt she had risen in ranks herself. Francine was about ten Read more…

Zwolle – Schiphol

He glanced sideways and saw how her marker hovered over the paper. She was studying a summary. He looked at the title, but it wasn’t a course he taught. She was blankly staring at the page, seemingly not taking anything in. He softly touched her arm. She startled. “I’ll miss Read more…

Rotterdam – Delft

Sundaynight. She was starting to get used to the sunday ritual of commuting back to her studenthouse. The bored look in the train, the feeling of independence on the tram and a undefinable scent of adventure on the walk home. Her first two financial aid payments were used entirely on Read more…

Leiden – Delft

“How do you feel about the interior of the train?” Her face puckered. “Well, I kinda like the blue.” She thought for a second. “But it would be better if they were all separate chairs, all in different colors.” Expectantly she turned to her mother, who smiled back at her. Read more…

Leiden – Zwolle

“You are a amiable man”, she spoke to him. “How you offer a hand to any and everyone. Simply splendid. And you clearly enjoy it greatly.” He smiled involuntarily. “Call me boss an’ tell ‘im”, he answered, underscoring his accent. The ladies laughed. “I do wish you a pleasant day Read more…

Breda – Tilburg

Three degrees Celcius, said her phone. She shivered involuntarily, a blissful smile on her face. It was of course only seven in the morning, but still. To keep up appearances she would complain with her friends, but secretly she loved the early changing of the seasons. Over the weekend she Read more…

Amsterdam Zuid – Delft

“We have left Schiphol Airport with a delay of four minutes, because some asshole decided to throw his bag between the doors.” He let go of the intercom and immediatelly regretted his bitter tone. “But I wish you all a pleasant trip”, he added sheepishly. Jesus Christ, always the same Read more…

Delft – Amsterdam

“Dude, where were you last night.” He turned, his lightblue eyes looking calmly from under his cap. “I just had to work this morning, you know”, he answered. He didn’t assume the boys would understand, they had no problem going to work with a hangover. These were the moments he Read more…

Delft – Leiden

“I’m breaking up with you.” Expectantly she looked up at her. “Or, you start trying really hard right now. If you blow me off once more, don’t trust me or treat me as a vagina we are done for good,” Jacqui dictated. Ella typed along, giggling, looking pleased. “Sounds clear Read more…

Delft – Tilburg

“…CHOO”. Annoyed he looked up from his book. Was it socially acceptable to tell someone off for repeated sneezing in the silent compartment? He tried to refocus his attention to the abortion debate going on in the United States. Promptly he was distracted by the views outside his window. A Read more…

Leiden Central

He balanced on the edge. His feet in front of each other, the ridge of his shoe exactly on the yellow line. Relishingly he blew the smoke right out of the square. Ridiculous, he thought. A sidewalk chalked cage in which all smokers were to assemble, a bizarre arbitrary rule. Read more…

Schiphol – Den Haag HS

He was surrounded by luggage. Clearly embarrassed he pushed the slightly feminine Louis Vuitton purse a little to the side. Letitia had gone to the bathroom, giving him time to think over this predicament. Seven months ago it had seemed practically impossible to say goodbye, but things were different now. Read more…

Tilburg – Eindhoven

They would take the same train every tuesdaymorning. One day they had had a pleasant conversation on the perron and from that day forward they waited for eachother by the stairs. They both brought their own little thermos, Nel drank coffee, she drank tea. She wasn’t actually sure whether Nel Read more…

Zwolle – Almere

With a determined face she was meditating. The sun was half-shining in her eyes, just so that one of her eyelids lit up in red and the other felt cold and dark. She couldn’t determine which felt better. But that wasn’t what she was doing anyway, she was letting the Read more…

NL