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Short report from a ride on the intercity from Bern to Zurich on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon:

The lady in the compartment ahead of me is telling someone on the phone: “You know, we need to manage expectations.” Behind me, a gentleman is explaining at length to someone sitting next to him that he broke his arm one week ago but now he is on his way to Venice. When asked by his neighbour how that happened he replies: “I have no idea. I just fell down the stairs.”

The person next to me is typing on her computer’s keyboard. I’ve been trying to spy what it is, so far with no success, though.

A bit further away someone is jumping from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter and all the way back. It looks importantly random. Meanwhile, the first lady hasn’t stopped: “You know, I mean, as I said, but I don’t know if you know what I mean but we need to manage expectations.”

Now, the man with the bandaged arm is receiving unsolicited recommendation to ride the Bernina Express: “You can’t imagine how beautiful it is!” The typist next to me has closed her laptop computer but I don’t think she knows that I know that she was gossiping about a colleague at work.

Someone invisible to me just now dropped their mobile phone and is kneeling on the floor to retrieve it. “Expectations are key, I tell you”, I hear the lady reiterate before ending the call. A bit further away but so kind to speak loud enough a gentleman lets everyone know that he won’t be hiring a candidate by the name of Pascale.

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