austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Through a country that you've only heard of

And back to the railway museum!

P7060110.jpg Inside one of the oldest-style cars --- possibly an actual vintage pre-1850 car, I'm not sure --- is a projected movie in which a whiskery old guy, I believe playing the Utrech Railway Museum's logo guy, notices you and welcomes you to the world of trains. It's in Dutch, of course, so I could only follow the high points, which is that every museum does something like this for some reason, though even the kids watching will drift off well before the introduction ends.
P7060116.jpg Here's a 19th century royal carriage, which still looks more comfortable than the 20th century royal carriage, even if it doesn't have telephone service even when the train is stopped either.
P7060155.jpg From the main building this is a glimpse at their cafeteria, which I think was the actual cafeteria before the train station was moved to its new location. I don't believe the chairs and tables are vintage, however, I do like the way the styling evokes this chemical plant dating to before the Great War where I used to work during college summer vacations.
P7060165.jpg The museum has an exhibit all about the Oriental Express. Over the entrance is a little circular monitor showing pictures of, uh, industrialization and progress and whatnot, all silent and in black-and-white, except when it's projecting the current time. It gives a real vaguely 1984-based-advertisement cast to the room.
P7060169.jpg I stumbled in as one of the docents pretended to be a vaguely turn-of-the-century upperclass lady going through the high points of a long train journey ending finally in London. Yes, there was a steamship segment. She called on me to play one of the Tower Guards, although since I don't speak Dutch and felt way too awkward to explain this --- she'd been going on a while --- I played along as best I could and I think I followed directions correctly, in that she had one of the kids come up and try to distract me, and I let him, and she playfully scolded me and I hung my head in Charlie Brownish shame. Thus my career as a Dutch improv train museum actor.
P7060174.jpg The Oriental Express exhibit opens to a theater and after the docent's guide to what riding the train was like, we went to a little puppet show because ... I ... really don't know. I'm pretty sure they were showing off some fable which I didn't understand because I wasn't going to be the one guy who insisted they double over everything to speak English too.

Trivia: Walter Lantz began working as a cameraman at the Heart International Studio, making cartoons, at age sixteen. Within two years he was a full-fledged animator. Source: Of Mice And Magic, Leonard Maltin.

Currently Reading: Mathematics: From The Birth Of Numbers, Jan Gullberg.


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