Florists sure have a lot of flowers

My portfolio of freelance writing, teaching and performing has just added ‘commercial model’ to it. As yesterday I went to Belgium to pretend to be a florist for a commercial print ad. I didn’t need to do much, except stand in front of a flower shop in Antwerp and look proud. All in day’s work, and all that.

And a day’s work in August, I’m discovering, is nothing to sneer at. Even if it involves four-plus hours on the train. But all that standing around was easy money. Despite what some professional models might say.

But the best part of yesterday was the train journeys. 

I was doing some work in the morning and as usual, left myself precious little time to get to the station, buy my ticket and get on the train. But after some fierce pedaling I managed to make it with a couple of minutes to spare.

However, in my rush to leave I forgot to grab the book I’m reading. I remembered as I halfway to central station and cursed my forgetfulness; I was not looking forward to two hours on the train and nothing to read.

When I arrived on the platform though noticed the guy in front of me looked familiar. Turned it he was. It was a friend and business associate of mine. Really – he and I have actually done some work together and he’s helped connect me to a few regular clients. He was undertaking an epic journey to the south of France to visit his parents via Brussels, and we got to hang out on the train.

I just opted for a simple smile

After standing in front of the flower shop smiling for a couple of hours (“working”) it was time to head back. I remembered that I still had nothing to read and now my phone battery was dying. It was going to be a long ride.

I briefly considered buying a magazine, but that seemed slightly extravagant, so I just went on my way to Antwerp Central. As I was walking down the platform towards the rear of the train I heard my name.

I looked up and there was a friend from Vancouver, who it turns out, is travelling through the Lowlands. She had apparently considered contacting me before coming, but her schedule was pretty tight and it all seemed a bit complicated. Besides, it turned out she didn’t need to, we just managed to get together and catch up on the train. We shared what we’d been up to and I caught up on some of the news of friends back in Vancouver.

So as it turned out, I didn’t have time, with all the conversating, to miss not having my book at all. I don’t know what the significance, if any, is in me finding great company for each leg of my train journey yesterday, but my next train trip has a lot to live up to.