My Own Quiet Little World

I was sitting on the wrong side of the train to look at scenery — outside my window there was nothing but a wall of rock — but a pleasant, bespectacled lady sitting across the aisle saw me straining to see things, and invited me to take the empty seat opposite her. She was Swiss and spoke excellent English. We chatted brightly about the scenery and our modest lives. She was a bank clerk in Zürich, but was visiting her mother in a village near Domodossola and had just spent a day shopping in Locarno. She showed me some flowers she had bought there. It seemed like weeks — it was weeks — since I had held a normal conversation with someone, and it was wonderful. I was so taken with the novel experience of issuing sounds through a hole in my head that I chattered away about any little thing that flitted through my mind, and before long she was fast asleep and I was back once again in my own quiet little world.

–Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe

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One Comment on “My Own Quiet Little World”

  1. Fran Says:

    Because I do travel alone a lot (but never alone in Europe), I can go a long time without actually speaking to someone, so I sure know what Bryson means. Little things like this become mind-blowing experiences.

    As for Lucy, the night heron, she was gone at midnight that night and have seen none of the herons since. Hope she is well and growing down in Veterans Park.