one day at a time

day 312: waiting for the train

waiting for the train © Verena Fischer 2012

waiting for the train © Verena Fischer 2012


Yesterday I was travelling from Berlin to Düsseldorf in one of the German fast trains, the ICE. It didn’t take long, just about 4 hours and as travel goes it could have been quite relaxed. However, it wasn’t entirely so. First I went to Bahnhof Zoo on the subway to catch a train to Berlin main station. I should have gone to Alexanderplatz, since it’s much better sign-posted. The sign-posts in Zoo sent me in the opposite direction of where I had to go, out into the rain and I ended up swearing. After I finally found the right platform it was pretty much straight forward though. I got off at Berlin main station, switched platforms and only had to wait another 10 minutes for the train to arrive. On the ICE a little boy sat next to me, who was travelling alone for the first time. Apart from his incessant talking he was actually quite cute. The best quote from him was: “Well, if I’d read books, then I’d be a ‘nerd’!”, which he said after I asked him whether he has read any nice books recently. And yes, he actually used the English word ‘nerd’. Guess he’s been watching too much TV.

In Düsseldorf I then got on the train to the small town Kaarst, where my dad lives and where I’ll be staying for the next 8 days. It’s about half an hour on the train from Düsseldorf and the town is just typical boring suburbia with lawn mowers and neighbours that give you strange looks if you look ‘different’. It’s really full of suburban bungalows and small houses with neatly trimmed gardens.

When I lived in Kaarst myself it was definitely more interesting and not in a good way. I used to live in one of the very few concrete high rises in Kaarst for about 2 years when I was still in school. My direct neighbour was a drug addict and domestic quarrels were quite commonplace in the building, not only next door. It wasn’t exactly what you’d expect from boring suburbia, but it was the only flat I could find when I moved to Kaarst back when I was 17. I don’t think a lot of house owners want to rent flats to teenagers who live alone. After finishing school I moved into a small apartment building in Düsseldorf, which was a really much nicer place. And it was also the first time in my life I didn’t live in a concrete high-rise, a step into the right direction for sure.

Anyway … the picture was taken at Düsseldorf main station while I was waiting for the train to Kaarst. I also had a few nice pictures of Berlin main station. However, since the main station is a structure of steel and glass, most of these pictures were all sort of abstract. I just liked all the attitudes of the people in this picture better. Unfortunately my 50mm f/1.4 lens was somewhere deep inside my backpack instead of on the camera, which explains why this shot is somewhat lacking in depth of field. My 18-55mm kit lens only manages f/5.6 with 50mm. I enhanced it a little bit by sharpening the foreground and blurring the background, but the shot would have turned out still nicer with the other lens, I’m sure. Next time I’m on the same platform I’ll try a similar shot with the other lens.


10 responses

  1. liramusic

    Great story. I read all the details with interest. Thanks for such a very nice narrative. I must be feeling nerdly.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    • Thanks liramusic. I’m also a real nerd according to the boy. I love books. And I do read a lot as well.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:58 am

  2. Interesting photo, I like how the people in front are all busy in their own activity, reading (another nerd?), messaging, speaking or just looking at something (hopefully interesting). And yes, we are all nerd…

    June 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    • Thanks robert 🙂 Indeed they didn’t notice me at all, since they were all in their own little world. Good for me 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 6:56 am

  3. Nice of them to line up like that.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:51 am

  4. Terrific photo Verena!!! The B&W fits the scene perfectly and a great story as well!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    • Thanks David 🙂 I think my brain is starting to work in monochrome actually 😉

      June 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

  5. There’s something almost comedic about this image to me, Ms. F… it’s probably just related to a story I’ve written in my head, since the close proximity of these people yet (with the exception of the first two women) complete lack of interaction almost demands you write their stories. They’re almost like characters in a film…

    June 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    • I also found them quite funny, since they lined up nicely and all seemed a little weird and out of place. 🙂

      June 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

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