11 Oct 2014

Croatia by abbieredmon


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On my train from Budapest to Zagreb, I had a small experience.

I shared my six-seat compartment first with an older Hungarian woman who got off about 50 miles from the Croatian border. We waved goodbye to each other when she left. I had the space to myself for a while, but right at the border, a Hungarian man boarded and joined me. Young-middle-aged, balding (but not quite given up), and curious -- very curious.

After we had completed the expected pleasantries of saying hello, I focused my attention back on my book (Paul Bowles, if you must know).
He interrupted me to ask where I was from. When he found out it was the U.S., he proceeded to go on a tirade about Obama, to which I answered mostly blank-faced. When I thought he had sufficiently wound down, I went back to my book.

He interrupted me again -- this time with the most unexpected question: "Do you believe in god?"

Then he proceeded to explain how evolution was just a "theory," and at that point, I lost patience.

The icing on the cake was when he asked to see my passport and wanted to know my surname.

I'm usually a friendly, smiling person, but I promptly declined, and from that point forward, tried very hard to put on a stoney face. Suddenly my book became much more interesting than I ever imagined it could be.

Incidentally, I should remember to lie to strangers with more regularity.