Before coming overseas, I’d only thought of trains as old railroad systems used to transport coal or cattle. But trains as public transportation became a reality when I rode my first train from Amsterdam to Maastricht; in about two hours, I’d met five new people and was enchanted by all the different languages. A German man with a guitar serenaded the cabin full of travellers with songs I couldn’t understand, and I listened as I watched a cheerful French family play a card game. Trains are no longer fictional things like I’d read about in The Polar Express or Harry Potter, but rather real-life capsules of culture.
Audrey Cary – A CES exchange student from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.