UnEasy Trainfellows

When I was little I wanted, among other things, to be a hobo. Not the kind that falls asleep in pee and shouts at people from doorways, but a Romantic Hobo. You know, the ones that Journeyman books get written about. Who go on adventures, riding the rails and saving damsels and children from Certain Doom.

I have ridden many trains since those days, but sadly none of them really compare to my childhood fantasies. When I lived in Wales, the trains were a phantom that arrived every 3 hours, three times a day and waited for you for EXACTLY 2.5 seconds. Thus ensuring the maximum heart failure potential of both running and juggling luggage combined with lack of fitness, mixing them all into one tight ball of stress and perspiration.

In London where I survived many a near miss from door, platform shoving, and ‘Oh I’m sorry I had NO IDEA my hand was there’, the biggest suffering I endured, was to be constantly at armpit height when summer rolled around.

When I moved back to Melbourne, I drove a lot more and didn’t see my old friend the train as often. I would ride to work in my own personal bubble, applying inappropriate disco make up at traffic lights and freaking out any car neighbours with my belting chorus of ‘Living On A Prayer’.

I have in the last month gone back to re-friend Public Transport and have found it to be…

…..yeah, pretty much the same, really.

Things run late, people get grumpy and spill chip crumbs on your shoes and there’s always, always, at least one person Shouting With Abandon.

Still, whenever travel options come up for holidays, the old Romantic Hobo Dreams reappear and I look for a way I can get from point A to B by train.

This did once result in a journey on a Canada to USA line that made me, in total, 29 hours late (not an exaggeration) and swaying for most of that time after the dining car ran out of food and water and we had to resort to drinking alcohol to stay hydrated.

Yeah. That went as expected.

Despite all of this, I still love the train. It is the old boyfriend I will never abandon, regardless of how many times he has shown up late, not dressed for dinner, and with something sticky on the underside of his shoe.

And besides, there is still the Orient Express.

Choo choo

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