Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Joys of GOTrain Commuting

Last night my Ryerson class ended at 9:32 pm instead of the scheduled 9:30. As usually, my goal was to catch the 9:43 train so I could get home in time for bed. With sleep as my motivation, I raced out of there like Jay Garrick on riddlin. I got to the Dundas subway station in record time (like 2 minutes) and leapt onto the southbound train. I got off at union. So far so good, right?

Looking up at the screen I saw my train disappear at the top, meaning it was about to leave. Gah! I punched my ticket and raced up the steps. There was the 9:43 train, I saw it, touched it. The doors were closed. I then proceeded with all my emergency door-opening tactics: banging on the door, pressing the "door release" button, making pouty faces in the direction of employees. Nothing worked, and the passengers gave me a look that said "glad I'm not her" and "I've been there" and "what an idiot" all at the same time.

With sadness in my heart, I wandered back down to the concourse. I decided to take the lemon of missing the train and make it into the lemonade of eating a cinnabon. Yum! I got a cinnabon and a large chocolate milk (which everyone knows is the only beverage to get if you really want to enjoy you cinnabon). I sat down amongst the Dairy Queen cups and McDonald's garbage savoured my delicious treat. That took all of 5 minutes. I used the rest of the hour to amuse myself with everything that union station has to offer: wandering aimlessly, looking at magazines, people watching, going pee in the less-than-clean facilities, and more wandering aimlessly. An oddly cheerful homeless man told me I had a nice smile.

At almost 10:43 a voice came through the speakers "mumble mumble West bound passengers mumble car on track mumble mumble ten minutes time." While I didn't entirely understand the train announcement dialect, I was pretty sure this was bad news. I went over to the ticket kiosk, more to waste time than anything else, and asked the lady what was going on with the Westbound train. "It's been delayed," she said. "They'll update us in 10 minutes."

Ten minutes later the station was filled with people wearing Bon Jovi memorabilia. Normally the bright side of missing the train is that you pretty much get an entire car all to yourself. One chair for me, one chair for my stuff, one chair for my feet (I know, don't you hate people like me?). The delay meant that I would have to be on a crowded train with a bunch of noisy Bon Jovi fans who would otherwise have taken the 11:43. Not that I held anything against them. In fact, I cheerfully explained to them the previous announcement, as I understood it, like 800 times.

Another announcement came on and this time I heard, "mumble west bound passengers mumble delay mumble somebody decided to drive a car onto the tracks mumble vehicle has been removed amd mumble mumble mumble." Now, if somebody wanted to drive onto the tracks, why wait for the 10:43? Why not delay the 9:43 train instead? That way I could have caught the train and been asleep by 11, instead of hanging around union forever. I wish these people would check with me before trying idiotic stunts.

Anyway. The Eastbound train came and went. Twice. Every five minutes or so the announcer would give us this messages: "Westbound passengers please remain in the concourse area until your platform number is displayed. This will not be a long delay." The message wording was the same each time but the announcers voice became slightly more agitated. I can only assume he was having a tough time chasing Bon Jovi fanatics off the platforms.

At 11:30 our platform number was displayed and we stampeded up the stairs to my old stomping grounds, track 3B. Five or ten minutes later the train arrived. There must be someone who ends up near the door when the train stops. Why is that person never me? I ended up in that seat by the door for people with bicycles.

I was so tired by this time that I decided to sleep on the train. I envy people who can do this. Like the middle-aged woman who sat beside me, and the young woman with her head on her husband's shoulder, or the red-haired guy in the primo seats. My efforts barely lasted until Exhibition. After that I stared into space until I got home. And my darling husband was at the station and we went home and slept.

1 comment:

~Becca~ said...

Public Transit can really suck butt, but atleast it gets you where you need to go.

My uncle is one of thoose people with that ability to predict where the doors will open (he comuted to T.O. for more than 20 years)... When we went to bluejay games with him, when we were kids, it always amazed that he was always right about where the doors would open, it was like magic!

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