Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Loud Mouth in the Quiet Car

Tomorrow, I return to Philadelphia as the start of two weeks of crazy travel. I'm very determined not to repeat the travel hiccups of my past two trips (Boston. Tunnels. 'nough said.). When I went to Philly a month ago, I took the train (which I'll be doing again) and had no idea how serious people got about queueing up to board. I ended up towards the rear of the line and, on top of that, was pulled for random drug testing (with that little felt piece that they reuse 50 times in 5 minutes to swipe bags). By the time I headed for the train, all the front cars (back cars? train nomenclature is not my strong suit) were full. Not being a seasoned train rider, I wasn't sure how far I could go on the cars before I hit first class. I stopped to ask an employee, showing him my ticket. Then, I managed to ignore everything he said and walked to the wrong car.

At this point, the train actually started moving, so I jumped into the closest car which happened to be the "quiet" car and under no circumstances should a person like me ever sit in the "quiet" car. I found a seat, catching my breath and then realized my I.D. that I'd been carrying in the same pocket as my ticket was missing. Did I mention the train was *moving*? And that I was in the quiet car? So, I began stage whispering to the poor man who had the extreme misfortune of having the only empty seat next to him. Of course, there was nothing he could do, but he felt terrible so he started lifting up my jackets and flipping through my books while I managed to panic everyone else in the quiet car that I was some sort of deranged lunatic with laryngitis. When our search turned up nothing, I went searching for the ticket guy (again, not good with official train titles).

Pressing buttons and racing through doors like Jake Gyllenhaal in SourceCode, I found him 4 or 5 cars down where I breathlessly explained that I thought I'd dropped my driver's license on the platform. Very calm-like, in a manner similar to which you'd treat a mental patient, he told me to sit down and he'd "check". (I wasn't sure what this meant, but I was having delusions of being tossed from the train in Delaware, so I thought it was best to obey.) Returning to my seat, I continued searching through my purse with the vigor of a chain smoker trying to find a last cig. My seatmate continued to look pained, either because he was the most empathetic person on the planet or because he was envisioning 8 possible hours trapped next to me. (The train goes all the way to Boston.) Meanwhile, I began frantically texting my dog sitter about how I was going to need her to FedEx me my passport the next day. In the middle of a hurricane. (Oh, yeah. Remember how I went to Philly in a hurricane?!) Intelligent woman that she is, she ignored every single one of my texts.

When oxygen began to finally flow to my brain again, it occurred to me that I'd been holding my ticket when I lifted my luggage into the overhead compartment. I stood up, open the bin, lifted the bag and ran my hand along the floor of the cabinet. As it closed around the cool, slim piece of plastic, I couldn't help exclaiming, "I found it!" In the quiet car. Yeah, yeah..."sssshhhh" and all that sh*&.

So, um, I'm just hoping tomorrow's trip doesn't start that way.

Oh...would you like to actual read about some Food Fighting and stuff?! Ok. Here are some good links from the past two weeks for that.

Maybe next week, I'll cover some ways cities are getting inventive in supplying the community with these products and teaching them how to use it all. In the meantime, I suggest old-fashioned oatmeal, fruits and vegetables (anybody can do salad) and a lot of hummus and whole grain pita. Low-maitenance cooking.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh - only you would have this train "adventure!" Great article suggestions - safe travels to Philly, look forward to what they have going there.