They knew Sofia well, they said. Hey Carol, Melanie said. We are staying in Bela Palanka for a day or two. But let´s go over to Sofia this weekend and meet Tom there.
We can meet him on Saturday night at the Hotel Marmara.
Yeah. Its a good hotel. Carol told me. Cheap, but good.
What do you think, Tom ? Great. I said. Lets do that. The train was very slow. We got to Belgrade at six o´clock in the evening. And a lot of people got off. There were only me and the girls in the carriage then.
The guard came and looked at our tickets, and went away again. Carol looked at Melanie. Hey, Mel. She said. Why dont you and Tom go along to the restaurant ? I am not hungry. And I want to sleep for an hour. Er... Food´s very expensive on the train. I said.
I have not got much money just now. I am going to get a job in Sofia. Oh, Tom. Melanie said. Why didn´t you tell us ? Look. You are a nice guy, right ? We are okey for money this week.
We can buy you a meal. Of course we can. Carol said. And look, in Sofia, we can take you to the best restaurant in town.
It´s a great place. We love it. What could I say ? I was hungry. They had money. I didn´t.
So Melanie and I went to the restaurant and had a meal. When we came back, Carol was still alone in the carriage. Melanie put her feet on the seat and went to sleep. At Nis some more people got on the train. And two old men came into our carriage.
They looked at Melanie´s feet on the seat. And talked in loud voices. Carol laughed. And Melanie opened her eyes and sat up. Are we nearly there? She asked Carol and looked out of the window.
Yeah. About half an hour. I think. Why are you getting off at Bela Palanka? I asked. What are you going to do there ? Melanie smiled. Find a cheap hotel. Meet people. Take a look at the town. You know.
Just for a day or two. Carol said. But there´s nothing there. Oh, well. You never know. Melanie laughed. See you in Sofia, right ? On Saturday night. The hotel Marmara. Okey ? eight o´clock.
Carol said. Don´t forget now. Okey. Great. I see you there. The train came into Bela Palanka and stopped. The two girls got off and stood on the platform. They smiled at me through the window.
Saturday. Eight o´clock. Melanie shouted. Okey, I called. They could not hear me because of the noise in the station. They smiled again. Picked up their bags and walked away. Nice girls.
I am going to have a great time in Sofia. I thought. The train left Yugoslavia and crossed into Bulgaria at two o´clock in the morning.
Then the train stopped at some village. I don´t remember the name. I ate an apple and looked out of the window. Suddenly, there were a lot of policemen on the train. Everybody in the carriage sat up and began to talk.
What´s happening ? I said in Italian to the old man next to me. I don´t know. He said in bad Italian. Perhaps they are looking for somebody. Look. The police are taking some people off the train.
Then two policemen came into our carriage. A tall thin one and a short fat one. They looked at everybody carefully. And then, they looked at me again.