I have inherited a lot of rubbish on this train journey – disposable tea cups and wrappers and an empty bottle of “Hayat” mineral water.
I wonder who left it here? Where were they going? What were they doing? What, exactly, did they have wrapped in those, now empty, wrappers? What is Hayat mineral water and where does it come from?
Well, since I got on the train at Lewes and the table was empty in a busy carriage, I assume they just got off at Lewes. They may have been coming from Brighton but before that, anywhere.
Purely because the Hayat mineral water seems vaguely oriental, I have formed in my mind the image of Japanese tourists who arrived at Gatwick and have travelled down to Brighton and then Lewes. If it turns out they sell Hayat mineral water at Brighton station or planes from Japan don’t land at Gatwick that idea is probably nonsense.
Why would people fly all the way from Japan? To see the castle? Maybe the were big fans of Thomas Paine? Or of bonfire night detritus, which there is a lot of at the moment.
As for the wrappers, I like to imagine they once housed bacon sandwiches, purely because I like bacon sandwiches.
So we have two Japanese tourists, who are big fans of Thomas Paine, on a train and tired after a long flight, who are reenergising themselves by trying our local British delicacies of tea and bacon sandwiches. They are probably a couple. He is a private investigator with a drink problem and a toothpick clamped between his teeth. She is a showgirl who used to be in the control of the Japanese mafia. “Yakuza” is it? They are on the run. And hiding out in Lewes. But the Yakuza know they love Thomas Paine and track them down to their destination in order to exact bloody retribution for losing their star money-maker.
The people of Lewes have no idea what is about to hit them.