ride the rails

I took an overnight train trip from Washington DC to Indiana a few days ago!

there is something to train travel. I want to say that there’s a spirit of camraderie, or something close to it, among passengers taking an outmoded form of transportation. and though that’s definitely bullshit, I like it anyway; there’s always some sort of interesting conversation going on. for instance, consider the partially deaf guy talking to the woman seated next to him: “have you ever been to the nudist camp in Paw Paw (WV)?” or the lady missing most of her teeth who complained to a conductor about one of hs coworker’s alleged behavior: “she hit me, and she called me a pussy, sir.” that’s no way to treat a customer, Amtrak. get wise.

anyway: I find it very hard to sleep on these trains, because the seats aren’t terribly comfortable. so once it gets late, I’ll wake up every time the train pulls in to another station. so here is a picture I took of Toledo, Ohio, as the train crossed a bridge on the Maumee river at 5 am. thanks, smart phone:

Toledo all up in this MFer

it was pretty cold when I got off the train in South Bend, and I was underdressed, so I dug through my luggage and layered up. my uncle picked me up at the station half an hour later, and on the way home we stopped for breakfast at a Greek diner on US 20. goddamn, but do I love breakfast.

for reasons unexplained he carried a can of bear Mace into the restaurant with us. now, I wasn’t surprised by the presence of bear Mace, you understand — there are cans of bear Mace floating all around this family, for some reason — but why he brought it into the diner is beyond me. anyway, while he told an anecdote involving this wonderful anti-ursine deterrent, he pulled the can’s safety pin. maybe to make a point. and so I instinctively ducked my head into my shoulder.

because you can’t be too careful, I say. but my uncle didn’t notice, finished his story. no Mace was sprayed. I got three eggs scrambled and bacon. he had some oatmeal. we drank lots of coffee. I like my uncle quite a bit. and I am home for the holidays.