Sliding through the German landscape on a white I.C.E. train, I reach into my bag for my mobile phone. I packed in a hurry and the contents are a random jumble of stuff assembled for two days in Münster. I push my hand down to the bottom of the vibrating bag and something bites me. I pull my hand out and the tips of my fingers are cut. I hastily put them in my mouth and taste the metal flavour of blood. A young girl sitting opposite is watching me very closely.
After a few minutes (using my left hand) I carefully examine the contents of my bag and find a Gillette Blue II razor. I am still sucking my fingers and the girl is still watching me. When I have finally stopped leaking I can examine my hand. My index, middle and ring finger each have two precise but deep incisions that run in parallel across my fingertips – like tiny railway tracks. The girl is still watching but I resist the urge to show her and stare out of the window instead.