Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Orient Express

I have always loved trains.

My mother used to take us to Oklahoma City every year on the train. We always had a compartment which may sound like a luxury, but with 3 (and later 4) children, it really wasn't.

I remember the dining cars, which in the early 1950's were actually very elegant. White linens on the tables along with gleaming real silver and crystal. We would usually have dinner and lunch in the dining cars. Breakfast was brought to us by an attendant. I thought it was very "posh", or as my 7 year old self would have said, "fancy".

Later, as an adult, I was married for a time to an oil company executive who was in charge of transportation for the company. We were hosted by the Santa Fe railroad to take a trip from Oakland to Reno in the private car of the railroad's president. It was an amazing trip. I was very surprised at the luxury of it. Pressing a buzzer when I wanted something (a drink, a glass of water, ) from the serving person was something very foreign to me and not entirely compatible with my middle class upbringing.

A wonderful sumptuous luncheon was served in the dining area. How just two people turned out such a lovely meal out of such a small place boggled my mind.

Ever since I was young, I had always wanted to take a trip on the Orient Express. I was sure that would happen one day and I would be going from Istanbul to Paris on that train. Alas, it did not happen and now it's too late.

But at least I got to see the movie "Murder on the Orient Express". That was better than nothing.

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