Day 3: The Stretch begins
A few minutes ago the conductor came by and passed out candy. Right after that the car steward, Andre, stopped by for a quick chat and to ask about the book I’m reading. Then the intercom lady requested that whoever was in the observation car playing music please be respectful and wear their earphones. And also that she wouldn’t make any more announcements until 7am so people could sleep. Two ladies in the row in front of me, who initially did not look pleased to be seated together, were, as of an hour later, sharing pictures of their grandchildren. When we boarded in New Orleans this am, the senior citizens were told to line up in front, where they were greeted with a smile and given time to board without pressure. No one had to bother with removing a belt or taking the change out of their pockets.
I swear, It’s like I stepped onto a train, and stepped back in time. To a time when traveling was still a pleasure, and you didn’t have to check your dignity along with your bags.
Not to paint too romantic a picture of train travel. You are still moving among the masses, aka the Hoi Polloi, aka the Great Unwashed, so there is bound to be some unpleasantness. Luckily I was seated off to myself, but the times I did cross through the cars, well, it can get kinda smelly sometimes. You have just as much chance of being seated beside the dapper older gentlemen in traveling hat and blazer, as you do the morbidly obese man wearing fleece pants (adorned with snowflakes too, so no telling how long those bad boys have been on his being). So far I've been pretty lucky, mostly because, in very antisocial fashion, I've barricaded myself with my belongings.
This leg of the trip is somewhere around 45 hours. It cuts through Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and on to Los Angeles- where I’ll be disembarking for a bit. So it’s a stretch. Today I’ve already watched Cake(surprisingly good), The Boy Next Door(don’t judge me), and am about to start Paddington. Both breakfast and lunch was the Subway sub I bought at the train station before we boarded, and dinner was a crackers and cheese tray with a glass of Chardonnay.
The only minor excitement came earlier today when the conductor announced the main toilet hose wasn’t working and we would have no bathroom for 30 minutes, until it could be repaired at our next stop. Suddenly that brought to mind my red beans & rice dinner of the night before, doused with extra tabasco, and my Mother’s thoughtful warning beforehand- "Hmmm, hope those beans don’t turn on you!" Well, I’m happy to report all is well. There was no dissension among the troops, so the minor excitement remained minor. There goes Day 3, time to catch some Zs.