Sunday, September 30, 2012

Berowne's 137

(For Three-Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "L" is for Lausanne)
Let’s see now. The above prompt is titled "It must be time for lunch now."
I thought to myself, what are some of the most unusual lunches I’ve had, lunches worth a blog post?
Well, there was one that was really special, a lunch I had on a train way back in the early 1960s. Let me tell you about it.
I was working in France when I got a phone call from my mother-in-law, whose voice was ripe with worry. She lived in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Seems she had some kind of terrible legal problem. The police said they could do nothing; the lawyers she had consulted were incompetent. She felt she was all alone. She desperately needed my help.
I felt like pointing out to her that my knowledge of Swiss law was perilously close to zero, and in addition, this came at a bad time. I was in the middle of an important job: i..e., making a living. However, family is family, so I dropped everything and hopped on the next train to Lausanne.
It’s a beautiful city, of course, so in a way I was pleased to be able to visit it again.
We had been under way for just a half-hour or so when they announced lunch. Great timing; I was starved. I looked forward to something good. Meals on trains in France, as you probably know, can be very special.
The dining car startled me. It was beautiful, but in a sort of old-fashioned “belle époque” style, drippig with dignity. I inquired around and was really amazed to learn that I had, quite inadvertently, hopped on what was quite possibly the most famous train in the world, The Orient Express: Paris to Istanbul; first stop, Lausanne.
This was the train that Agatha – sorry, Dame Agatha – Christie had written about in one of the most famous of her 66 detective novels, “Murder on the Orient Express.” As you may know, she was not just wildly creative, she was one of the best selling writers of all time; her novels have sold roughly four billion, that's with a “b,” copies.
There were not just lacerations and murder in her works; in this train there was also usually romance - (none on my trip, however).
My compartment was in the same period style. Agatha’s room must have been just like this one. She took this train to Istanbul and wrote her famous book about it in her hotel room there.
Well, I got off at the first stop, Lausanne. As things turned out my mother-in-law’s legal problem had been solved before I arrived; it seems there had just been a misunderstanding. But that was okay; I had had an adventure: a very special train-ride.

Here’s a photo of a couple of fellow-passengers. I chatted with the chap on the left; he had had a most interesting life. Someone, I thought, should write about him. :-)
(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)

51 comments:

Jinksy said...

Have you taken us for a ride, too? LOL

Berowne said...

No, Jinksy; it happened pretty much as written - (except for that bit about the fellow passenger at the end).

Linda Jacobs said...

What a fun adventure! Love all the pictures, too.

Other Mary said...

Hahaha - I want a copy of that passenger list! What fun.

Roger Owen Green said...

I could never grow my mustache like that...(sigh)

jen revved said...

you cover so much ground here; amazing, fascinating detail. xxxj

Linda said...

Wonderful asides that happen to you usually turn into a complicated mess in my life, Berowne. The Orient Express.... of all the trains you could have caught.... how delightful! Thank you for sharing this happy interval. =D

Catfish Tales said...

Christie's 'Poirot' was one of my favourite characters. I've watched all episodes of 'The Orient Express' and especially loved David Suchet's version of the clever little French speaking Belgian.

Berowne said...

Linda: "Thank you for sharing this happy interval."
And I thank you for this happy comment...

DCW said...

Your little grey cells are also working well.

naturgesetz said...

Unplanned special events, such as finding oneself aboard the Orient Express, can give really happy memories. I enjoyed reading about this one.

Kathe W. said...

what a hoot! This was a fun romp especially with all your perfect photos! and the Leica no Leica commment on my post was hilarious!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

You left me hanging...what did they serve you on the train? And was Poirot your dinner companion?

Doctor FTSE said...

A lunch to remember. But who's the pretty lady?

Irish Gumbo said...

It is a fine thing to be able say one had lunch, and it was good. Especially when there are interesting tidbits to be had, not always found on our plates! Lovely, lovely story.

Berowne said...

Thanks, Irish G, for your very generous comment.

izzy said...

Rare form! thanks- and yes those trains are special-!! (most of my young memories were not food related though)
Sometimes the trains were as memorable as the destination- :)

Cressida de Nova said...

Ha..don't believe a word of it..but what a great story:)

kaykuala said...

Berowne,
Ever the story teller with lots of anecdotes of times past. Enjoyed going along lots of journeys with you! Thanks for sharing! Nicely!

Hank

Berowne said...

Thanks so much, kaykuala.

Frances Garrood said...

What a lovely son-in-law you were/are! Interesting post.

Helen said...

Fascinating tale, Professor. Trains have always held allure for me, yearning for one more ride!

Little Nell said...

Worth dropping everything for just to experience a ride on this iconic train. It was probaby a reief that there were no problems to sort out at journey's end.

Berowne said...

Good to hear from you, Little N. As our common friend might say: for this, much thanks.

Dave King said...

A great meal time romp that will stay in the memory for a long time, I am sure.

Katherine said...

First of all you must have scored some good brownie points for dropping everything and running to be by your mother in-laws side at a time of need...you're a good boy! Secondly, I really enjoyed the journey your lunch-time special story took me on. It's been such a long time since I've actively blogged and once I started reading your post, I soon remembered what a master story teller you are! Fantastic!

Berowne said...

Katherine: "I soon remembered what a master story teller you are! Fantastic!"
Wow. I won't get many comments better than that - thanks so much.

Tigerbrite said...

Jolly good read and super presentation :)

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

wonderful post and fantastic photos ~ Loved Lausanne ~ beautiful place ~ (A Creative Harbor)

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team said...

Did u feel like one of the characters in Murder in the Orient Express or maybe Hervule Poirot himself?? :)

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team

Berowne said...

Yes, I have to admit that for a while there I felt like a character in one of Dame Agatha's novels. Not a corpse, however.:-)

Tess Kincaid said...

I want to travel by train and eat a glorious lunch...

Lyn said...

Mr. Suchet sure looks spiffy! My favorite fantasy place..thanks for producing it.
My best lunch was in Moscow, with 2 handsome soldiers very close by...true, will tell that sometime!

mywordwall said...

I was swallowing the entire story until I got to the last part and saw a picture of a familiar face. :) What an interesting tale this is.

~T~ said...

So, what was for lunch? Must have been unspeakably delicious.

Susie Clevenger said...

What a wonderful adventure. Isn't it amazing how the unexpected presents itself?

Rinkly Rimes said...

Lunch will never seem an ordinary meal again!

Sheilagh Lee said...

That is so cool that you got to ride the Orient express, what an adventure.

gautami tripathy said...

Such a wonderful writing!!

lure of the impure

Grandma`s Goulash said...

A great memory and well told. What a wonderful bit of luck.

Bee's Blog said...

I always wanted to travel on The Orient Express but it never happened. The closest I ever got was the then known Karnten Express which went from Calais to Klagenfurt. I had been on that train many times and the last time was 1970.

The OE's exotic route came to an end in 2009 although it had stopped the Istanbul route in 1977. Times change and with it, the magic disappears.

I feel you worked with Mr Suchet at some point in your career!

Kutamun said...

You have one of the best looking mothers in law of all time, time lord. Imteresting your journey began and ended with a mystery , such synchronicity in Jungs backyard

Kutamun said...

You have one of the best looking mothers in law of all time, time lord. Imteresting your journey began and ended with a mystery , such synchronicity in Jungs backyard

rallentanda said...

It seemed a little unusual to go to such lengths to help your mother in law..now everything makes sense.

Carrie Burtt said...

You must have a very fascinating life Berowne! :-)

Berowne said...

Carrie B.: "You must have a very fascinating life, Berowne!"
Had, Carrie, had. It's pretty well all in the past.

Berowne said...

Kutamun: "You have one of the best looking mothers in law of all time, time lord."
Yes, she's not so bad, right? :-)
"Time Lord." If that's a new title for me, I like it!

PattiKen said...

Oh, I'm so jealous. That is high on my bucket list.

dandeliongirl01 said...

I would love to go on that journey. It was quite an era.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Funny coincidence: I just finished watching "And Then There Were None," later remade thrice as "Ten Little Indians," based on the novel by... Agatha Christie! The REAL cast, Barry Fitzgerald, C. Aubrey Smith, and the like...

Loved this little "tour de France," if you'll pardon the pun. Wow, the Orient Express. That is impressive, and loved the images interspersed throughout! Amy

Green Speck said...

A wonderful memory you have retold !!!

 
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