The Slow Train

We had to catch an early Sunday train to New York and the only option was the Amtrak local, no Acelas until after noon. We had a “business class” car, which essentially meant a little extra leg room.
The train stops everywhere—like a Greyhound Bus, you can wave it down in your driveway or backyard. But it’s clean, has a decent café car, and the staff is quite courteous. We departed from Providence two minutes late. Here are my observations:
• When you’re a young woman drinking beer at 7:30 am, you have a problem, period.
• Not all that long ago, the conductor took your ticket. Now, it’s scanned.
• Why does someone make a huge noise when they yawn, as if they’re in their own bedroom? Is that like a tennis star grunting with each shot?
• Trying to save the empty seat next to you by putting your stuff on it is about as selfish as it gets in mass transit (and veterans and train staff simply tell you to move it).
• You literally see the country’s underwear and cast-offs on the local (slow speeds going through backyards). You also see the beauty of the shoreline. Life seems to depend on which side you sit….


© Alan Weiss 2017

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