This story has brought back memories of my train travels in Poland. I first experienced the Polish train in the dark underground of Centralna Warszawa with me being scared when this old old train crept out of a dark tunnel and low sound of wind as it moved by like a dragons breath. At first I didnt know whether I had stepped back in time or even if I dared get on the train. ‘Slow’ sometimes yes as the train made a loud crack and the conductor passing through the train with a large wtench. After a failed fix, he came by again with a larger wtench which didnt help either. The train couldnt find high gear and it felt like we coasted all the way to the next town. ‘Magic’ in another trip to Poland from Amsterdam found myself alone in the dining car traveling along flat Polish landscape which reminded me of western Minnesota, feeling like an envoy from America, served the finest food ever of which I didnt even know what it was. I read your article because I have found the love of my life, she has the last name of Polchowne and only can guess that its slavik. We must travel to Poland to find out more.
Americans don’t ride trains. At least not where I’m from. Maybe it’s the independence provided by the open road – we do obsessively prize our autonomy – or what is often described as the century-plus-old “American love affair with the automobile.” Or perhaps it’s the more mundane reason of our politicians’ general failure to invest in it. Probably some combination of the above.
So, as I crossed the sea several years ago to immigrate to Krakow, I pictured trains as an essential part of the Old World Dream. Environmentally-friendly public transport! Steaming across the mountains and fields of Europe, the baroque padded car thumping magically around me. I imagined a trip to Hogwarts, or Before Sunrise, a favorite film of mine in which an a young American man wandering the continent meets his French lover on a train to Vienna. by Steven Hoffman Feb 16 2006. Krakow Post