I've got a four berth couchette on the Dacia 347. Destination: Vienna. But I'm getting off at Budapest where I've got to see Diogenes the dwarf about that mysterious delivery that's waiting for me.
There's only two of us in the couchette, me and the backpacker. He's sucking noisily on some kind of mint and got incredibly hairy legs that knot just under the knees. But I've got my laptop; I'm busy designing my website.
As the train pulls out of Gara du Nord I decide that its impossible to work while I've got this guy sat opposite me.
"Have you ever seen a film called I was a Teenage Werewolf?" I ask him.
"No," he says, crossing his legs. "Why?"
"Michael Langdon starred in it - before he became famous in Little House on the Prairie."
"I didn't know that."
"Not many people do."
"Say, why are you writing our dialogue using quotation marks? I thought you were trying to write like Cormac McCarthy."
"I've decided I'm not Cormac."
"What about Zen City, Iso?"
"I'm going to bring out a new edition, re-written using quotation marks. More accessible. Hopefully, more commercial."
"And Man in a Zen Ambulance?"
"That'll be same."
"And this blog?"
"Yep, quotation marks from now on in."
Backpacker crunches up the mint or whatever it is in his mouth.
"Oh, I get it," he says. "You want me to go, is that it?"
He gathers up all his belongings, including a massive bright red Fuji-Tite-Rite backpack and struggles out of the compartment.
Suddenly I'm feeling better.
"Definitely easier to understand the dialogue now," he shouts back from somewhere down the corridor.
"Yeah, I guess."