You say it’s a split-flap

I thought more and more about yesterday’s blog post. I do have the same awe about trains as that little boy I saw yesterday.

Setting: Venice, Italy train station, January 2008

Had convinced the boyfriend that we could ‘wing it’ for two nights, while the rest of our accommodation and destinations had been planned in advance, and there were many. We had been in Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti and Greve in Tuscany, Florence and Fiesole, a small town on the top of a hill outside Florence.

We had added one day/night to Venice, so we had one freebie day/night towards the end of our trip, with no plans. We had to ultimately get back to Milan the day after the day it was for our return trip so anywhere between Venice and Milan was fair game.

I was in my glory watching the train boards flip and change the destinations with that deliberate noise to make sure travelers are paying attention.

The sound that those boards make just get me excited over the opportunity of where you can go next, what’s near the destination and how easily you can get there.

Thank you Wikipedia for telling me that it is called a split-flap display. And this video showcases the noise I am talking about. Thank you random YouTube user.

I was looking at the destinations on the board and looking down in the guide book to decide which line we should take, and which stop we should buy tickets to.

Since the boyfriend was totally, utterly and completely breaking a sweat not knowing where we were headed next I had to work quickly. I had to figure out a destination while ensuring it would get us headed in the general direction of Milan.

Isn’t this compromise? We planned most of our accommodations in advance…are two nights, with no planned destination or accommodation, that much to ask? If you ask most of my friends, and my boyfriend, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, for any of my travel companions who do think that way, I don’t.

And yes, if I could install a mini split-flap display of some sort in my home, I think I would seriously consider it. I just love that noise and the day dreaming it promotes.


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