“Have a nice day,” he says, pointing in the direction the train was heading. “You walk now.”
I nod and walk. I dont look back. I keep focused and walk straight ahead, thumbs inside the shoulder straps of my backpack.
They called out for tickets. Train tickets. I was at the other end of the train carriage but we had just departed the first station.
They moved past the first few people.
They passed the middle doors.
“Tickets.” He showed me some.
“Arghhhh. Tiket. Yes, yes. I hav.” I opened my bag knowing that it wasnt there. My right hand searched for it blindly. It didnt appear. “I hav ticket,” I reassured him. This time I began to slowly take out what was in my bag. Bit by bit. One thing at a time. I laid it all out on the seat beside me as the train moved along. “I no find.”
He motioned me to get up and I did after putting everything I had taken out of my bag back in. The train stopped and we were about to get off but a lady opposite me called out. I had left my phone behind on the seat. I turned, pocketed it and followed him and his partner out the doors.
He bagan talking to me of a fine. Forty euros or something. I pretended to not understand.
“Fine? No, no. I hav tiket.” This time i opened my wallet and searched inside. No ticket.
Again he explained to me that there would be a fine to pay for travelling without a ticket.
“I hav tiket. I no find now but I hav tiket.” I could tell that his patience was wearing thin.
“But you dont have a ticket now, or do you?” he asked.
“I no find now.” I pointed to the ticket machine behind him, “I buy tiket new now. Ok?”
“No.” He asked for cash. I had heard that these ticket inspectors could demand money up front. Not a bribe but money to pay the fine.
“Money? Now? I no have.” He demanded to see my wallet. I knew I had fifty plus euros in there but I had it folded and tucked away behind a card in the notes section. As I opened him my wallet I held the card against the fifty euro note. It was hidden.
Fuck, this guy just wouldnt give up. I showed him my bank card. He asked if I had any money on there. I said that I had American dollars only. I lied. He asked if it would work.
“Only have American money. No euro,” I said. Holding my card he told me to follow him. He led me up the stairs and his partner followed behind me. The partner was following not so much as to prevent me from running off (I didnt need my bank card since I had a spare) but because it seemed I had annoyed the fuck out of him for the past ten minutes. He reached the top of the stairs before me and I could see him looking around. The fucker was looking for an ATM. Motherfucker. I stood beside him and looked around too. There were none. We were in a void. Nothing was around us except for concrete and a few garden beds. The partner joined us and they began to speak to each other. He wanted to walk and find an ATM but the partner didnt. The partner’s body language said he couldnt be fucked. I wanted to agree with him. He handed back my card and said…