How to enjoy a long travel by train

Waiting for the train in Brive

Local trains in the Gare de Brive

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel by train to join my lovely region of origin called poetically le « Pays de Brive ». It’s near the south of the center of France (look at the map) and it is also the beginning of the real south of France, a country where the french are not like the french of the north. They speak with an infamous accent that we call « l’accent du sud » which is meant to be delicious and charming and so on… but that get you on your nerves after one hour of conversation with a french representant of the south (to my point of view, of course).

Anyway, when I got this opportunty to go to Noailles (here) with my beloved wife, I jump on the national railway company website to buy my tickets and… yeeppeee.. a few weeks later we were aboard a TGV, our national highspeed trains direction Brive. Except that even for a highspeed train, this one was as slow as the one that use to go across France before the middle of the XXth century. It took us 7 hours to do a 700 km trip from Lille to Brive, which is not especially fast, you’ll agree with me.

So what to do during this painfully long time ?

My way is to sketch people when they are asleep or when they read books, look at their iPad or mobile phone or discreetly trying to pick their nose without beeing seen by anyone (except by me, ah ah!). So here they are.

Brive-Paris by train 1

I didn’t know if the guy on the left was reading or sleeping, cause he held a book in his hands, but sometimes his eyes remained closed for many minutes. Unless he could see across his eyelids, I suspected him strongly to fall asleep trying to read a book about astrophysics or aspects of inflation in south Uganda. The woman right held her boyfriend who was sleeping also, probably because he read the same book that the guy left. Anyway I find it very convenient to be surrounded by sleeping people to practice a little drawing.

Brive-Paris by train 2

When looking at people, I like to imagine who they are and what they do. For example, I was pretty sure the man above right was an actor specialized in Charles Degaulle roles, wheras the woman left was likely to be a very naughty teacher that hits students with a metal ruler on their nails (mhhhh, does that recall you old memories ?). And I don’t remember whom belongs the hand above. Probably to someone who forgot it there 😉

So, next time you travel France by train, you will probably remember this article. And if you do, please share with me your own memories.


A propos Jean Jean

Sketches, drawings, etc.
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