For my five hour train journey I prepared myself thusly:
One (1) copy of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, as yet unopened. Described by the New York Times as “a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times”, and by my mate Martin as “Yeah, it’s hard work and a bit dull”.
Two (2) magazines, of the trashy variety (see: Closer, and Stylist). Likelihood of finishing these before even contemplating cracking the spine of the above? Even.
Three (3) audio Cantonese lessons. Because the learning never stops. These are there for show and will be returned to the library unloved and unlistened to.
Four (4) – gigabytes worth of music, to provide the soundtrack to my life as I stare forlornly out of the window and pretend i’m in Party of Five (or, more likely, to lose myself in the fantasy that I’m performing on stage, letting my inner Sasha Fierce comes to the fore as all my peers and coworkers – and anyone else who has ever judged me – look on with awe and wonderment, saying to each other how they never knew I had it in me, but man that girl can sing! Who knew?… Does anyone else do this? This is a fantasy that is in danger of getting out of hand – if myself and my coworkers should ever find ourselves in a karaoke bar, I may forget what is
real and what is in my damaged head, pushing others out of the way as I get up on stage to give an embarrassing and awkward rendition of Lady Gaga, complete with inappropriate and badly thought through choreography).
Five (5) episodes of Modern Family, for lolz.
And a massive bag of chocolate.
Suffice to say, I don’t deal well with long journeys. I’m the kid who eats her packed lunch as soon as she takes her seat. And then continues to eat at half-hourly intervals just to stave off the boredom of being with myself and myself alone in a limited space and no wi-fi. I fidget. I sigh. I wear uncomfortable clothes and then huff and puff as I try to pull the skinny jeans away from my misshapen thighs which only seem to get bigger from the blood and cake that starts to settle on my legs as I sit.
Good luck to you if you’re sharing my table.