On Monday I Said Goodbye and Missed the Train

I missed the flippin train by 30 seconds. SO ANNOYED. Clearly haven't got the train from Reading to Bracknell for a while - I forgot that they put the train times forward 2 minutes in the Autumn, some stupid excuse like 'leaves on the line'. Pathetic. Missing the train is always expensive because you have to console yourself with chocolate or coffee because the whole situation is so incredibly frustrating. So here I am sat cross-legged on the dirty floor of platform 4 because, naturally, all the benches have been taken by mums and their noisy children or greasy businessmen *shudder* Oh lovely, it just started to rain...

Okay so things are no longer so desperate, I'm now sat on the train. ARG this is going to take forever. I just said goodbye to Fiona, she's off to Iceland next week to be an au pair and work in a coffee shop for a year. She's so elated by the idea of living in the North and learning an eclectic mix of languages like Tolkien that she constantly emits this happy radiant glow. In Buddhist terms, her aura is very good. Anyway, I love seeing my friend in such a positive frame of mind because some of her shiny happy dust sprinkles itself my way. WOOP. We met at the Starbucks on coffee corner and, for the first time ever, managed to grab the two armchairs by the window. I can't believe I'm not going to be able to hug her for 11 whole months! Thank goodness for skype and Whittard's post-tea which I intend to send her regularly, student budget permitting. She gave me an extremely early birthday present - a collection of Kafka's stories IN GERMAN. So perfect. Now I can have twisted German nightmares!

We spent a good time catching-up and squealing at how exciting our lives are going to be this time next week. This summer has been life-changing for both of us in different ways. We are not the same two girls who, 12 weeks ago, set off for a week in Germany. One of us has been released and soothed and the other has been battered about until all her stuffing spilled out and is now in the process of being re-stuffed. We did the usual spree around the shops, bought make-up and tweezers, lusted after boots that are completely out of our price range and then found and AWESOME photo booth by the oracle toilets. Our last stop was Waterstones where Fiona succeeded in buying £30 worth of books: a Virginia Wolf collection, a children's story collection and a book of Russian poetry. We then said a hurried and rather flustered goodbye as she ran for her bus and I for my train.

I hate saying goodbye, there's such an overbearing finality associated with it and it just doesn't seem an appropriate word for what I'm doing. For example, I said goodbye to lots of church people on Sunday even though I know I'm going to see them again at Christmas. I much prefer the phrase Aufwiedersehen which translates directly as 'until we meet again' it's much more open and flexible. It makes it sound like you want to see that person again but you're not quite sure how long it will be, maybe you won't see them until next week, maybe you'll see them again in heaven. The word itself sounds unfinished, like you should say 'Until we meet again be safe' or 'Until we meet again have fun, be happy'. There is much more hope and expectation in the phrase 'Aufwiedersehen' because there is an inbuilt assumption that when you do meet again you will be even more beautiful, even more special, wiser, older, better and more interesting. And so to Fiona and all my friends I would say 'Aufwiedersehen' because no matter how far apart our bodies, minds and hearts are, I know that I will see you again soon.


  1. This made me tear up! Awww I miss you already :(

    Btw I returned the Virginia Woolf and the short stories, because the money is... like... DISAPPEARING! Couldn't say goodbye to the Russian short stories though!

    I'm sorry you missed your train too.