I am constantly taking trains, trams, busses and undergrounds around the city, but discovered a totally different kind of city travel yesterday.

Spending the weekend with family in a tiny hamlet in the Havelland meant that I had to take a regional train out of the city.

It was about 2.30pm and a lot of people (no! most people) on the train were indeed commuters, people working half-days or morning shifts. And there were a lot of them – the train filled up quickly and almost to the last seat.

And the people all knew each other. Now, that’s not completely true of course, but a lot of them seemed to know each other at least by sight. Some were talking, some saying hello and then sitting next to each other dozing off or reading. They probably all have “their” seats too. 

I just looked for a seat I liked and sat there – probably messing up the seating pattern of at least four people.   

It takes the train 35 minutes to get from the origin to the final destination making seven stops along the way. When I looked up from my book after 25 minutes – it was empty… 

And that felt just as strange as being an outsider among many people at the beginning…