Turn in turn

I can take a train at 15:48 or another one at 16:48. Hmm, I could go up with the cable car one more time, ski down and catch the later train. I go out of the restaurant – the mountain is lost in fog, it’s snowing, the ski-chairlift is empty. Why is NO ONE going up? Hmm. You know what, I’ve just had lunch, legs are tired – I’m going down the slope to catch the first train – hopefully it won’t be so crowded.

After a fall on the wild slope through the forest (shouldn’t do those when tired) I get to the rental place, leave my skis outside, go in, leave the boots I’d rented, dash out in a hurry to catch the train.

I manage to get in comfortably on time, find a seat, stow the helmet into the backpack, try to squeeze the backpack into the top luggage compartment, it doesn’t fit in, I’m somehow startled, but then I put the backpack on the seat next to me, take the camera out, sit down, check the biathlon score in Sochi (go Eva Tofalvi!), prepare for the traditional nap.
The last passengers board the train, it starts moving, I think of the beautiful views of the valley awaiting, when one of the last passengers passing by me says the word “skis”.


The skis should have fitted in the top luggage compartment… But where…? At the rental shop. Left them outside, hurried to the station… can’t. be. true.

It takes me a few seconds until I act. Phone out – check options on the SBB app. The train takes an hour to Chur, but will I catch the next one back? And then back, and then onwards to Zürich. But – wait, I don’t have to go all the way to Chur, the train stops in-between. Let’s see, first stop, Litzerüti, 10 minutes. Walking back from there should be… about an hour, I’m guessing. Not ideal, would miss the train at 16:48. I check the train app, the next train back is in… an hour, which means it will reach Arosa after 16:48, so I will wait an hour in Litzerüti and another hour in Arosa, because I will still miss the 16:48 train.

Ticket controllers come, I ask them “what is the fastest way back from Litzerüti to Arosa? I forgot my skis”. There’s a hint of a smile – “train. in an hour. Or walking, an hour. Or – a taxi.”
“Thank you.”

They don’t stamp my ticket, which is good; I am thinking thinking thinking. To call a taxi from Arosa… it will probably be more expensive than the whole train ride from Zürich and back. Shall I?… on the other hand, I could go back and back by train at no extra cost, except for time, lots of time. Two hours lost in the process, plus the 3h ride back to Zürich… more than the time spent on skis today. There goes my “easy long Sunday evening”.

We are approaching Litzerüti. I see a train in the station. While our train slows down to stop right on the track next to it, one of the controlling guys comes towards me to get out at the same door.
“Is this the train back?”
“Yes. But it will leave.”
“It’s not moving yet – can I get in?”
“No. It will leave. There is no connection possibility.”
“Which way do we get out?”
“This way”, he points to the side towards the other train.
“But… it has doors on this side, can’t I just jump in?”, I ask, while I open the door and jump out.
“No”, I hear him say, “you have to run around it.”

Which I am already doing. I was in the first wagon, which stopped exactly at the last wagon of the other train. There are a bunch of tourists coming from the back of the train towards me on the narrow path between the trains, I sprint past them, turn around the back of the train, stop at the last door – ‘how do you open the door? No electric knob… Manually!’ Pull – nothing. ‘Closed? I know they lock doors before leaving’. Push – it opens! I jump in; by the time I turn around to close the door, the train is already moving.

I close the door and enter the wagon, hugely relieved, and the first face I see is of a shell-shocked ticket controller staring at me like I come from another world. Which, in a way, I am.

I find the skis patiently waiting outside the Intersport shop, take them back to the station, have time to buy a Twix chocolate and to take some pictures of the sun beautifully bathing on the mountains across the frozen lake. I board the train early, very early. Stow the skis in the skiing compartment, thinking ‘should I put them on top of my seat? What if I’ll forget them here?’ I shrug the thought off, sit down and continue writing up this note.

I will not post it though, to declare the story finished, until I reach home.



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