Category Archives: trains

Cry freedom!

The storied ‘L’ train in Chicago sure has a lot of don’ts.

Don’t solicit.  (Expected.)

Don’t eat.  Surprising…but DC prohibits food on their subway,  too. I know someone who got a ticket while visiting. 

Don’t gamble.  WHAT?? Now we have seriously  crossed a line. 

Gotta have my shell game.

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Public displays of…

I had just taken my seat on the subway this morning when I heard someone crying.

It was a woman across the aisle from me. And she wasn’t trying to hold it in or hide her tears — she was loudly weeping and sobbing.

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Since I had just boarded,  I looked around at my fellow passengers,  trying to get a read on what if anything had been done. At that moment,  a man said,  “Are you okay,  miss?  Do you need help?”

She said no and immediately quieted. Everyone looked relieved.

I know I was.

Not two minutes went by and she began wailing again,  even louder this time. Looks were exchanged.

I finally reached in my briefcase and handed her a tissue. She didn’t say thank you,  but she calmed down until her stop.

I will admit – –  I have cried on the subway before,  but in a much more stealth fashion. Or at least I hope so,  for the passengers’ sake.

Heads up

The subway ride home from work was really crowded today. So I was forced to stand, my arm stretched to hold the upper rail.

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The gentleman sitting on the bench directly in front of me dozed off. His head began to dip lower and lower. Eventually the top of his head hit me in the stomach.

He jumped. I I jumped. But he didn’t wake up completely,  so pretty soon his head fell back down and hit me in the stomach. This continued for another two subway stops.

Then I moved my purse so it hung in front of my stomach. The next time his head dipped, it encountered cold, black leather.

That seemed to do the trick. He woke up, stood up and got off the train at the next stop.

Heads up, buddy.

Being neighborly

Thank you, Jim.

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When I asked for directions outside the Summit train station this afternoon,  you could have simply pointed to the street and gone on your way.

But you smiled and asked where I was headed and, in typical small-town fashion, offered to give me a ride to my hotel because of the intense heat.

I could have put up my big-city blinders and refused, but I could tell — you were just being nice. So I got a ride and a fun, impromptu tour of Summit.

After a delayed, packed train ride, it was an unexpected pleasure.

Thanks again for taking the time.

Time for a knap

I spent most of last week on ‘planes, trains and automobiles.’ Unlike Steve Martin and John Candy in the iconic film of the same name, I suffered only minor delays in my journeys, but was constantly annoyed by one group of travelers —

Backpackers

backpack in airport

Backpackers clog the aisles of both airplanes and trains and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, appear to have no idea of the additional girth their over-the-shoulder luggage adds to their body. They careen down the center aisle, bumping people on either side (and behind when they need to back up).

Apparently the backpack cushions their body from all collisions too, because they never seem to notice or feel the need to apologize.

So, if any backpackers are reading this, take note the next time you travel. You leave behind a wake of bruised body parts and bad attitudes…

And they all have your name on ’em.