Free from prejudice, so to speak, Delano asked them about their experience during the recent campus Thanksgiving celebration.
“Luxembourg is a great location to travel to and from, you’re at the hub to go travel anywhere else, which is nice if you study abroad because you get a different experience,” said Madison Lapolla. “We usually travel on weekends and visit other places.”
As the students live with locals in and around Differdange, some even on Kirchberg, public transport is an issue for all of them. They have experienced problems that many locals raise as well, ranging from few services to delays, to cancellations, to harassment on late trains.
Daniel Isakoff, who lives on Kirchberg, said: “I have to take the bus to the train station and then the train to Differdange. Sometimes the buses are really late or just don’t show up, and it’s the same thing coming back. Sometimes they drive straight past the bus stop. I’ve had to walk several times. The trains are often delayed, sometimes up to 45 minutes.”
Olivia Wolber added: “It then gets to the point that you’re missing class and you get into trouble with the professor for not being there. But I have no control over it! I could leave hours beforehand, but I shouldn’t have to do that. We should be able to rely on public transportation.”
Feeling unsafe on late trains is also an issue that was raised by Joanna Brown: “My biggest problem with trains is that I don’t feel safe when I am alone late at night in the train. It’s scary. I’ve been followed by men out of the train station before. I’ve had people talk to me. I tell them to leave me alone and they don’t. Intoxicated people get on the train and harass you. If they know you’re American, they harass you even more because they know Americans are less likely to be able say no. It’s happened a couple of times. I once had a guy get on next to me and he took my phone and put his number in my phone. I asked him: ‘please leave me alone’. The second time it happened, this guy came and sat across from me and kept asking for my number. I kept saying no, until I told him: ‘you’re really pissing me off’; then he finally left me alone. But then he followed me out of the train station, so I hid in the bathroom for a while.”
It seems that, like for so many young people who don’t live in the capital city, the students at Mudec are really looking forward to the night train--which starts 11 December on a limited basis--to improve their social life. “People are excited because they won’t have to leave so early and you’re not screwed because you missed the last one,” Mallory said. “One of my friends was once walking home along the highway back to Kayl because he’d missed the train. He’s very excited for the night train! The last weekend we’ll be here we’re actually looking for a hostel to stay in, just because we want to stay out longer and not worry about having to get the last train.”
However, the night service is not extensive enough to enable everyone to get home safely. Let’s hope the pilot project is a success and will be extended.