The train station was pretty much empty except for the odd passenger and ten to fifteen homeless guys lying on the benches. By the looks of them, she guessed a mix of local, African and Eastern European, the latter two most likely asylum seekers.
Like in Hong Kong, it was a harsh existence.
Every time it looked like they’d fallen asleep, the security guards would come along and hit them on the legs, telling them something in Italian, probably to stop sleeping on the benches, but it could’ve been something much worse.
Joanna pulled her pillow jacket tight and looked at the train timetable on the wall outside.
Her Italian was about as good as her Farsi, but she could recognise the word Ljubljana and the numbers indicating time, and she could guess that the column on the left was departures and the column on the right was arrivals because that’s the way it was in most places, so by deduction, the next train to Ljubljana was at five past eleven.
The next, next train was the day after, which was also okay, but it was eight thirty now and Sila would probably talk all night about that stupid spine story so what was the point in waiting?
She could go back, get her stuff and be back here within an hour.
Actually, yes, why not?
One hour and three minutes later, she was back, with the rucksack pulling down her shoulders and as she walked to the entrance of the station, a very tall guy in an Arsenal bubble jacket emerged from behind a pillar and said something in Italian.
She shrugged and said ‘I don’t know’, prompting the guy to quickly switch to broken English, telling her that her bag looked heavy and if she wanted a break, he could carry for her.
‘It’s not heavy.’Continue reading