Valencia a Gandia

September 4th, 2007

Just pulled out of Sueca. The Africans are talking diagonally across the carriage. Bebop jazz plays gently and unobtrusively on the trains “systema acoustica”. This is Spain. This is public transport – the Africans speaking their own language carrying immensely heavy, white binbags filled with who knows what  their life’s possessions?

A little boy in canvas slippers talks with his father in the seats next to us – divided by the central aisle. “Proxima parada: Cullera”. Memories here. More memories now back in Valencia. I almost cried leaving the station from the train – now I’m tired and feel dirty. J sleeping next to me in the evening sun after an oppressive day of heavy clouds and a little rain even in the Septembre air.

Valencia was surprisingly similar: VIPs smaller – food only now, Pizza Hut better than the UK (you can smoke inside, equiped with a ), el Corte ingles didn’t let us down: castanets for Sean and Faith, cenicero (ash tray) and lighter (fuego) for us to laugh about in the future.

I had a classic café con leche, J a Bocatta (serano y queso), she still has half for emergencies…but this beautiful – muy bonita – train stops at Gandia. Another ugly Spanish town. Ugly. Polluted. Yet alive. Or living, always living.

It’s seven fifteen P.M. and the train is full – the mulletted man standing over me has been that way since Estacio del Nord – impressive.

The Father his “Strike It Lucky” Lucky Strike Tshirt
The Mulletted Man his leather wrist straps and friendship bands – all brown and tan
The Sleepy Man behind J, his combover slipped down to the back of his head
The Two Africans the younger preppy, almost, and innocently proud looking long into the distance. The elder mopping his brow with a red kerchief and be-ringed fingers
The Mother of the small boy, looking impassively forward, an adult version of the boy’s slippers

The wide valley/fllod plain to our right (travelling backwards) to the sea. Now huge mountains on our left isolating us between two impassable geographic forms.

The Man Who Stood In Front Of Us in Rodrigo jeans (white) “A (sic) rugged for comfort and durability”.

Now Xeraco, the last stop but Gandia. Again we stopped at Silla (chair) on the train, how we loved the announcements – “Proxima parada: X”!

Almost evening now – and not so warm, 20 degrees Centigrade in the carriage, feels cooler out from the open door as we want to leave on the final leg of this 55 minute journey to our car.

This train is full. Of people. Of life. Of classical music now. Of purpose both of the machine and its passengers, 6,30 euros each. This is public transport.The train honks its mechanical agreement.