There is something romantic and mysterious about writing in a train bistro on my way to Prague. It’s an old EC train, nothing like the fancier ICE trains that I usually travel on. My cat Champagne is a bit perplexed about the lack of space she usually has to stare out at the people, but she is happily ensconced under the table. For a change we are not traveling alone. This is a long overdue mother-daughter trip, catering to my desperate need to get away from Germany at the moment and deal with some of my inner tempests.

Going Rustic ©MTHerzog

Except for the conductor, the rest of the crew is Hungarian, looking bored and rather unwilling to be alive and perky. Unlike the First Class service on an ICE train, there is no bistro service at your seats, so my daughter and I took turns in eating our breakfast, so Champagne wouldn’t be left alone. I wish you could see the cook though, every bit the roadkill grump that you expect on such a trip! And the food… well, to quote my daughter: the eggs weren’t rotten. The bread, however, is leathery with a touch of sawdust, and the Capuccino is sadder than my own depression. I’m no snob, and I rather enjoy the rustic touch to any trip, so I will be kind and say that the view outside is breathtaking. I hate winter, but the landscape we are passing is truly the stuff philosophers feed on.

It has been a good 13 years since I last visited Prague, and it was summer then. So I am looking forward to revisit it with a new perspective and somehow find that elusive comfort for the soul. I started psychotherapy yesterday, so I am carrying a lot of baggage at the moment and a lifetime worth of open wounds.