We left Paris by train the other day, heading to St. Florentin-Vergigny. This is about 2.5 hours south-east of Paris...on the road to Dijon. The train ride in second class was comfortable and uneventful. We were in a small compartement with another couple (French) and a young woman. Unlike the Italian trains we travellled on in first class, this local train didn't make announcements in English...only French. The PA system was quite poor and had a lot of static, which made understanding the messages very difficult. However I knew that our train arrived in St Florentin-Vergigny at 2:11pm...and sure enough, we pulled into our station right on time! We were ready...standing by the door with our baggage (our 2 carry on susitcases, 1 purse,1 totebag, 1 messenger bag, a bag of gifts and 1 bag of gluten free cereal, bread and crackers!) The train came to a stop and there we stood waiting for the door to open. (Those Italian first class trains we had used before had attendants in each car that opened the train doors so we were a bit unsure how to get the door to open!) Right in front of the door was an outline of 2 feet with a red X through them...indicating "don't stand here!" so we made sure to avoid that spot!! Apparantly nobody else was departing the train at this station so we were a bit confused as to how to proceed. Finally, Gary stepped in the "forbidden zone" and easily opened the door with the lever on the door...super simple - it was "self serve"! Gary got off the train first and I handed him one suitcase. Suddenly the train inched forwrd. We though it was creeping into a better position so neither of us moved. But instead of coming to anothr stop, the train began to pick up speed. I quickly tossed the remaining suitcase, my purse, Gary's messenger bag, my totebag, and the bags of gluten free food and gifts. That part was easy...but how was I going to get off the train. In a flash, I though of going to the next stop - but didn't have any idea how far it was. I knew that this train only stopped in St FlorentinVergigny 3 times a day. I also realized that by tossing my purse off, I had separated myself from my ticket, my money, my cell phone and my passport...I HAD to jump! By now the train was at the opposite end of the station, and picking up speed - I had to make my move FAST!!! And so I did the most stupid thing I have ever done in my life - I JUMPED OFF A MOVING TRAIN!! I wish I had a video of the whole thing...it happened so fast that it is a blur in my mind. I DO know that Gary was yelling "DON'T JUMP...DON'T JUMP" (but we all know I don't always follow directions!) and I was aware that I had to jump as far out as I could...I wanted to make sure I landed well out in the centr of the platform. But I'm not sure if I landed on my feet and rolled, or if I just landed on my backside. What I DO remember is landing on my butt and holding my neck and head up, but the back of my head hit (gently) on the pavement. One shoe fell off as did my glasses. That was the first thing I shouted to Gary "Oh no...I lost my glasses." However, the glasses somehow landed safe and sound inside my shoe farther up on the platform! By the time Gary ran to me, we were both laughing...part nervouos and partly with relief! Gary helped my to my feet and we assessed the damage...scraped elbow and bruised tailbone. I think the first words out of my mouth we "Oh my God...that was THE MOST STUPID THING I HAVE EVER DONE! I am 56 years old and I just jumped of a moving train!". I don't even want to think of how disastrous this move could have been. I did make Gary get out the camera so we could re-inact the scene...her is what it looked like:
Reinactment of my "graceful" landing on the train platform!
After we walked int othe "town" of Vergigny...we were waiting for a taxi to come take us to St Florentin!