Catching up in the Underground Brings that Small Town Feeling to the Big City

On The Town | Margaret Childs | November 2006

A girl pushes her way through the exiting crowd at the U1 stop Stephansplatz. She is tall, blond and out-fitted with I-pod and handbag. As she scans the over-filled car with discontent at the lack of free seating, she spots someone. She sidles over to a young woman sitting to her left. Tugging her earphones out, she exclaims, "Ohmygod! I haven’t seen you in ages. How’s it going?"

"Andrea!" the other cries. "Wow, it been so long." And then ensues a long recognition ceremony: "You’ve seen him lately?" and "No way, they’re still dating?"

As the girls are chatting away, a man behind the blond taps her on the shoulder.

"Oh hi!" she smiles. "Kathi, this is my colleague, Peter" They shake hands.

The three of them are talking away as the brunette, Kathi, who has been eyeing a man standing by the door, excuses herself only to walk over to him with a huge grin.

"Hi, you on your way home?" She laughed at his inaudible answer, and they become immersed in conversation.

Andrea and Peter are still gabbing when he waves to a man opening the door at Vorgartenstraße. "That’s my superintendent," he explains.

Kathi leans over to the man by the door to give him two goodbye kisses and returns to Andrea and her colleague.

"It’s so surreal how many people you meet on your way somewhere," Kathi says. "Vienna’s a village." They all laugh and Kathi reaches into her bag as she hears her cell phone ring.

"Hi…Oh, you’re at Kaisermühlen… OK, well, I’ll be there in two seconds." She hangs up.

"I’m getting off my dears. Bussi!" She kisses both on both cheeks and is out the door.

"I’ll call you about coffee." Andrea yells behind her.

"I’m getting off now too." Peter says as he kisses her goodbye.

Andrea is alone again. She extracts her I-pod from out of her Bag and sticks her earphones in. At Alte Donau she exits.

The singular travellers they leave behind stare into nothingness, as the train approaches the final station.

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