Honeymooning in Bulgaria

I start reading about eastern European trains and worry that actually taking them might be a bad idea. Many of the Eastern Europe trains I've read about are referred to metal hunks of dilapidated crap. But I've never crossed a border on a train before and it sounds fun. In the train station, Serkan and I hop on one of the trains stationed there. See, he says, this is so much more comfortable than a bus. This is how our train will be? Awesome, I say, we're definitely doing the choo choo. We even purchase the sleeping cabin tix, because they're not much more expensive. I imagine clinking wine glasses in the dining car, playing cards and watching the scenery change.

Ours is the Bosphorus Express. Serkan reads about it online, after we buy our tickets. Everyone complains and details how horrible and old the cars are. No dining car, only a bunch of unhappy customers. But we have our own room, I just can't imagine it would that bad. I mean, with all the rank and toiletless overnight South American buses, with kids and chickens sitting on your feet... The Bosphorus Express can't be that bad. And it isn't. All the cars are ancient, sure, but the room is pretty clean. There's a window we can open. It's not fancy, but there are beds with fresh sheets. We watch the moon and the backwater houses of Istanbul fade into the distance. Then we watch The Station Agent on the computer. It's all very romantic.

At the border crossing, if I am asked, I will tell them we're on our honeymoon, finding it mildly hilarious, because not many people would choose to start their honeymoon in Bulgaria. But the only thing the Turkish side asks me is if I live in California. I say yes, because any other answer is complicated and excessive, plus it's 3 a.m.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, he says in a deeper, gruffer, man voice.
Yeah, I laugh.
How is Arnold? (He's on a first name basis with Arnold, they go way back.)
I don't know.
Why not? (I'm starting to wonder if I should have said I live somewhere else...)
Um, I don't know Arnold personally.

Exit. Thump thump goes the stamp from ink pad to passport.

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