An hour later we got out of a taxi at Zurich station, which initially looked like any other European station, but then became increasingly wonderful as I began to discover all of its parts. It had a huge hall, which had become an international food market, on the same level as what I had thought to be the main platform. Below this, were about a hundred shops networked together amongst another twenty or so platforms. I had never seen such a massive, complex and inviting train station in my life.
Having found a train that suited our elaborate journey, we grabbed a pastry each and went back to comparing stories about our media careers thus far.
“So you started on the radio?” she said between slurps of a hot chocolate.
“Yeh, I broke my teeth on local radio in Essex. I used to go into the streets and do surveys. Really stupid surveys. Asking questions such as, “If you could have rhubarb for arms or Cauliflower for hair, which would you prefer?”
She laughed so much that she spilt some coffee over her top. As she mopped it up I could see her remembering something.
“My first job was for a small programme about a zoo. I spent ages filming zebras and chinchillas. It was very dull. One day, while the keeper was feeding the flamingos, one of them snuck out its head quick enough to bite my arm. It absolutely bled like crazy and that was it. No more zoo filming for me.”
“I prefer working with people,” I said, nodding. “Animals freak me out.”
“ Have you checked Jesus’ twitter today?” she asked, changing subject.
“No, why?” I answered as I typed in his twitter handle.
We both went quiet for a moment as we read through a new posting.
“Apparently he is calling on his disciples to come and have a party. A naked party in the snow.”
I shook my head. “I am not getting naked just to gain his trust.”
“He must be freezing his bits off,” Fiona giggled, whilst replying to his message.
“What did you put?” I asked.
“I told him to expect us this afternoon. I hoped he might save us some strudel.”
In a while, we were on our train, which was relatively quiet for 10am on a Tuesday. The train emerged from a tunnel into a snowstorm. The entire surrounding world seemed suddenly drowned in snowflakes. Perfect crystals of snow gently bashed the train as we made our way towards the distant hills. I thought I could see the outline of a reindeer in the valley, but it might have just been my vivid imagination. Everything had just got a whole lot more Christmassy and we were about to travel into the Swiss alps, on the lookout for a guy who believed he was the son of God. What could possibly go wrong?
AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.