Sunday, 11 September 2011

Traveling by train

Yesterday I went into town by train; it was a new experience. Barring the occasional excursion with 150 teenage students, which is very noisy, I haven’t traveled into town by public transport since I worked in the city 20 odd years ago.

I’m not sure what I expected but it was very busy. On the way there was a strange man who got on the train with a white terry toweling dressing gown on a hanger. He was obviously a seasoned traveler as he stood with one hand pressed against the ceiling until his stop instead of hanging onto any of the vertical poles; yes, he was very tall. I wonder where he was going that he needed a dressing gown? And it was on one of those hangers that the dry cleaner gives you too, except it didn’t have the clear plastic wrap.

Then there were all the people using their phones: “Hi, it’s me. I’m on the train . . . ” was how each conversation began. Last time I traveled by train on a regular basis that wasn’t an issue. Last time I traveled by train I didn’t have an ipod to stick into my ears to block the sound of everyone’s phone conversations either - so it worked out all right.

I’m always amazed at the phone conversations people have in public. I’d be much too self-conscious to blithely ring a friend and chat away while everyone else on the train listened in, or tried not to listen in, or even ignored me and listened to their ipod.

Then there was the woman’s conversation on my carriage on the way home. She was happily chatting to a man she obviously saw frequently, and the train was almost empty getting to the end of the line as it was but still. . .

So now I know that she’s divorced, her husband had “problems,” she’s got two sons, and a boyfriend. She’s been seeing her boyfriend for three years now and he wants her to move in with her. She’s not sure; her boys think she should wait. She doesn’t have a car, but her ex-husband does.

Is there such a thing as invasion of air-space? Apparently not.

Better stop now before I start going on about the good ol’ days. . . .



  1. See? This is where I overhear conversations :)

  2. Ah. . . now I see. It's an absolute mine for conversations, isn't it?

  3. Free entertainment / education or both :) Of course, I'm never a provider...only a 'forced-to-listen' listener :)
    Oh, by the way, welcome back to blogger :)

  4. Hey Wanderer, thanks. Yeah, should never have left- never mind. Here is my new home. Now I just need to blog a bit more often.
    Having an ipod is a good idea coz then I don't need to be a forced-to-listen listener, but sometimes the conversations are amusing.

  5. Conversations overheard on trains can be excellent blog fodder - in case you ever have those days when you don't have much to say. I kind of miss having train rides for that reason.

    Came here via AHD - been secretly reading your blog for awhile now.

  6. Hey Terra,
    Well that's fun. Always nice to know someone's been secretly following. Aunty is fun, isn't she?
    I think I might have to catch the train into town more frequently just to listen in on conversations.
    Stella x