On departing Dalston Junction last Saturday, I mismanaged my packing so badly I alighted the Eurostar on the station master’s whistle. My violent, sweating omnishambles of a departure saw my finest cotton’s stuffed into Sainsbury’s bags and an elderly Australian couple trampled upon at the platform.
Any romantic notion I had of travelling by rail evaporated at passport control. I could barely breathe for stress and fatigue. Everything had gone smoothly until that point – freelance tasks, new clothes, storage, doctor appointments, dentist bills, direct debits, and pub goodbyes.
My packing mismanagement aside, I loved my continental train journey and miles of leg room. Going on a first-class time machine through spicy red forests you feel part of something bigger. I was no longer marooned by shoals of mackerel, herring and cod. Moving over land is the best way to travel if you have thr time to spare.
Before I arrived at St Pancras, I had been on standby in an AirBnB flat with bourgeois professionals who’s names I can barely remember. I have no patience for fake relationships nowadays. London is like Zurich with arts and entertainment; terminally transactional with its rising rents and contactless pubs.
With Dalston now a distant din, I will keep moving forward until I am forced to come back for employment. Now deep into the orange fall, the spectre of Soviet socialism is all around me. I zigzag past the Berlin Wall everyday and have frequently got lost since my arrival by train.
I have no idea how I managed to get this far.