The guy who at first had put his bags in the chairs behind us, starts talking to us and says he wants to sit next to a nice girl. "You seem nice, but I think you'e a couple," he says to me and walks away. Ten minutes later, he reappears, moves his bags and sits in the chairs next to us. He starts to make phone calls. With two phones. At the same time. He's on his way to Oakland, to do some course. His name is Terrence.
In the observation car, which has big windows and relaxing couches, is Randy, who's wearing sunglasses both on his nose and on his forehead. He wears a black shirt which says in glitter letters I love Soho. He talks to everyone who sits near him about his adventure in some hotel where he got to stay for free and got a free breakfast on top of it, about his job as a truck driver and stand-up comedian and about his girl friend, who just left him but who he still loves so much. Then, he pulls out a pork shop out of a paper bag and starts eating it while starting up a new conversation with other people.
Opposite me, a guy with long hair is working like a madman on his laptop. Every three minutes, he grabs his camera to take pictures from the landscape. The train moves too fast, his pictures are moved. He pulls his hair and shakes his head. Then he disappears behind his computer again and starts writing on his blog.
One table further sits Alex, who just pulled up his shirt to show the dj who is also going to Burning Man and Randy his scars from Vietnam. They talk about the murder on Kennedy, Michelle Obama, the current political situation and the politics that kept the Bush family in power. Terrence joins the conversation and talks about his experiences in Iraq. He's been there five times.
Next to me, a nice looking, middle aged, couple sits down. They look at the guys in front of us and softy talk to each other. Then Randy walks up to them and starts talking. When he bursts out in a song, they quickly get up and give me a friendly nod while they leave.
We have been traveling for an hour. Fifty two more to go.