Saturday, September 12, 2009

Choo choo

I love taking the train.

I’m currently sitting in the viewing car #11 on the Amtrak passenger train to La Crosse. It’s 8:30 a.m., first-time riders are stumbling past me in the aisle and sleeper car passengers are dragging themselves out of bed in time to get the last breakfast sandwich at the snack bar. I’m drinking an apple juice, completely distracted from my homework by the conversations happening around me, and I’m having the time of my life.

Believe me, I’m not a morning person. Waking up to get anywhere by 7:50 a.m. would usually cause nothing but chagrin with me. However, when I get to take the sunrise train from MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul) station to LSE (La Crosse…this is all train lingo, by the way) station, I’m energized like never before.

There’s just something about the train.

I wonder if the man sitting across from me reading Moneyball, by Michael Lewis can concentrate on the book when he has iPod earbuds in his ears. Maybe he’s playing the audio version of Moneyball and is reading along.

I wonder if the 60-something woman sitting with her 60-something giggling and gossiping friends at the table behind me will ever learn how to play the game of Hearts they’re noisily teaching her, all the while laughing and snorting at her inability to remember the rules.

The elderly people sitting kitty-corner to me want nothing more than to have a conversation with someone. Maybe they’re riding the train for the first time in a long, long time, and they just want to share their excitement. The young guy sitting across from them, however, seems grumpy and unwilling to talk. Look my way, elderly couple.

Conversations never cease to be interesting on the train. I’ve met a woman suffering from a past-midlife crisis who decided to ride around the country on the train. I met a hypnotist-turned-psychologist-turned-pastor-turned-loaner who did his best to make me accept Jesus into my heart. And I just learned that the iPod guy sitting across from me is a financial advisor for a school district in St. Louis, Missouri.

Like I said, there’s just something about the train. Something that makes people be willing to tell their life stories to complete strangers and then ask their names later. I love it. 


  1. chagrin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Heheh, I must admit the train IS fun, though napping on it and ACTUALLY getting homework done can be rather nice too. This is why you have so many cool and random friends, you're so good at meeting people and so very willing to chat! :)

  2. So...what you're saying Christie, is that Brian likes and thrives on talking to strangers??

    Hmmmm....Brian, I wonder where you get that from?? hahaha! Add that to my list on my comment on your entry "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"! Like son!

    Btw...LOVE this entry!