Oct. 10, 2011.
After various misunderstandings regarding the Europe railpass, one of which memorably culminated in an overnight ride through Italy where my companion and I slept on everyone's shoes in the luggage car (and, incidentally, were mysteriously charged extra for this honour, for reasons explained to us in Italian and therefore forever unknown), and one of which involved trains that split and bring you to faraway lands where suddenly people are speaking both French and Scottish English where you expected Swiss... after these misadventures, our arrival in Osthofen was the shortest and most striking of them.
In the late evening, we arrived in Muenich. The train station was much like the others we had been to. All seemed normal.
We transferred to the train that would take us to Osthofen, where my step-grandmother lives.
A few hours later: we arrived in Osthofen. We stepped into the train station. We were the only ones there. The train went on its way. We stepped out of the train station. We were the only ones there. We walked a bit further. We walked around the block. It was dark. We were the only ones there.
It was immediately apparent that we had entered the twilight zone and no one lived in this town. The parking lots, the signs of habitation and lit billboards were but a sham. There was a police station, but clearly it was built as a prop by aliens.
Chances were good that soon the Langoliers would show up and munch up this artifact of timespace which had been left behind by logical existence, but the worst part was that I really needed the restroom. So we despaired. See picture above.
And then my step-grandmother came driving up and was very happy to see us. The next day, people had mysteriously appeared in the town and all was right with the world.
I realize this story is utterly unastounding in text. Just take my word for it: the town was CLEARLY empty. It was very striking. Shut up.