Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Great Cacophony (2)

Previously: part 1

It’s a great way to travel. The seats are comfortable, the views spectacular. I may do it again, but just not right away. I need time to recover. There are too many quirks.

One unsettling quirk about traveling on a train is the extreme numbers of humans. While it wasn’t exactly the Great Unwashed, it might have been nicer had a few more people showered this morning. At each city stop there were so many passengers boarding that if you made the mistake of coming out of the loo just then, you would be caught. There was simply too much of humanity being crammed into too small a space. It made no difference what the conductors said (“Ladies and gentlemen, please board one at a time. Please do not push or shove. Ladies and gentlemen, please..”)


Do you remember all the talk about why airline companies forbid cell phone usage during flight? The reason given has been that the cell waves might interrupt the communications system and bring the plane down out of the sky. But my opinion is that the passengers themselves would be more likely to bring it down. Their sanity would be so sorely tried by all of the cell conversations that they would begin a riot. They might even attack. I almost did today. It went on for 5 hours all up and down the aisles.

A phone would ring. Just about all of the ring tones were hideous. They might have been ok out on the street or in the desert. But in a public train car? Hideous.

Then the passenger would answer, suddenly forgetting to lower his/her voice and end up practically shouting into the device. “Marge? Is that YOU? I said, IS THAT YOU?”

A small silence, and then more. “No, he’s fine. I just wanted to tell you about the HUGE KNOT ON THE SIDE OF MY NECK…..No, my NECK…It's growing, too, you should just SEE it..” 

(I personally was tempted to turn around and look, but my cervical spinal fusion surgery prevents me from turning my neck .. really. you should just SEE it).

There were a large variety of ailments discussed and re-discussed today. It made me feel terribly sorry for physicians who have to listen to this gibberish all day long. I really do not know how they tolerate it. I certainly couldn’t.

I’m sure these people were all very nice, in their way. I just wasn’t prepared to hear about all of their illnesses, conditions, medications, 'knots', pains, or relative’s diseases. I mean, I am sorry for their Aunt Gertie, but really - it was more than any trapped passenger should be required to endure.

Probably the best advise I can give you regarding train travel is to bring a pair of earplugs. I personally did not have any, but survived by wearing earphones and turning the volume all the way up on House Hunters International. It almost drowned out the health issue discussions. Almost. Once in a while I would still hear something like, “Well, it hurts whenever I cough and the Doc gave me some pills but nothing seems to work and I can’t keep from coughing because I have a cold and my son said…”

I truly felt sorry for the woman. But I felt even sorrier for the son, because -


See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">colorblindPICASO</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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