all aboard

Last Friday I had a meeting in downtown Philadelphia, which therefore meant that I also had a week-long internal debate with myself about whether to drive or take the train.  In the end, I decided I'd hate driving more, so I headed to the train station bright and early on Friday.  Actually, I headed to Starbucks first because my nerves led me to be 40 minutes early for the train and it was a brisk 26 degrees out.  So, I decided to get a beverage to keep me warm during my wait on the chilly train platform.

Matt takes the train into  the city every day, and he loves it.  In fact, he loves it so much that he regularly checks online job postings for train engineer positions, and knows where and when the train rolls through our town.  For example, it's not uncommon for us to be heading out to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon and for Matt to say, "I think I'm going to take York Road to 611, because if we get the red light at Bradfield we will hit the 2:34 train when it crosses Easton Road."

I rarely take the train, but I guess when I made my decision to utilize public transportation I was still riding high on my successful navigation of the metro when Mom, Emily, and I spent a few days in D.C. this summer.  

Although this is how we looked after a few days of it, so who knows if it was the right choice.

In any event, after a long, chilly wait on the platform, I boarded the train, stuck my ticket in the slot in front of my seat, and then pulled my book out of my bag like the sophisticated, prepared commuter that I am.  I'm currently reading another Dave Barry book, because he makes me laugh and you can't go wrong with Dave Barry.

Except when you pull his book out of your bag on the train and the cover is photograph of Dave Barry sitting on a toilet wearing some festive boxer shorts.

Yikes.  So much for my sophistication.

I decided I'd just hold my book flat on my lap so that nobody could see the cover, and then I found my bookmark, opened the page, and this is the title of the chapter I opened to.


The Toilet Police.

My sophistication officially went right out the window.

I gave up on reading and chose to instead look out the window.

My meeting was in the same building I'd been to before, home of the world's most confusing elevators.  But, I successfully navigated to the sixth floor, only to find it was deserted, with the exception of this sign.  The picture is blurry, but it was asking if I was there for retirement counseling services.

I only wish I was.

I ran into another confused coworker, and we eventually found the meeting on the fourth floor.  

Navigating to the meeting wasn't my biggest concern, it was navigating home, and making sure that I stood on the correct side of the platform.  It's one staircase difference between returning to suburban Philadelphia and traveling the opposite direction to New Jersey.

You'll be pleased to know that I arrived home successfully, and when I got home my mom called and asked if I wanted to go to a Christmas shop with her.

Since I never turn down an invitation for a retail expedition, I agreed.  We plugged the address into my GPS, and when my phone said, "You have arrived at your destination," we looked around, only to find ourselves in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

After a few u-turns and several re-routes on the GPS, we arrived at the store. We walked and shopped and the only thing that could've made it better was if I read Dave Barry as we walked around.

Maybe next year.

Comments

Julie said…
That is one thing I dislike about trains, they are so confusing to navigate platforms on which way to go!!!
LOL, when I first started taking the train over eight years ago, I was super early to the train every day. Now I arrive in exactly as much time as I need to get to the platform.
Brianne said…
I've never lived anywhere where public transportation like that has been a thing. I'm sure though that I'd be nervous & crazy early if I had to use it. I'm glad that you survived!
Hena Tayeb said…
public transportation with the trip state is tricky.. my husband travels to the city everyday.. he used to be a bus traveler, then became a train traveler and with our current move he is a bus traveler again. Since we have moved farther from the city and had kids I find my self rarely going into the city and even more rare is me taking public transportation..

glad you were able to get home and always a yay on shopping
Rebecca Jo said…
I know me - I'd never travel if I had to do trains or subways. I've never even done a bus before. I know I'd end up in a different state.

That's why God made Kindles to hide book covers ;)
That book. Hahahaha. I'm so glad that I don't have to worry about public transportation. If that was the case, then I'd never leave the house! I'd be lost all the time.
Angi said…
I used to be pretty good at navigating the city bus system in Seattle, but trains sound like a whole other beast. I would have driven, haha.
Courtney said…
The first time I took SEPTA from the airport to the 30th street station, I was so confused! Thank goodness I had two hours to get to the Amtrak side of the station. Those trains really are incredibly confusing if you don't take them frequently!
Michelle said…
My dad read a Dave Barry essay out loud to us at a restaurant once. We laughed so hard we were crying, and I'm shocked we weren't kicked out. We quote him all the time. I need to get my hands on one of his books!
rooth said…
The selfies with the book are a bonus - you should do book reviews as well!
Haha, it's always a worry that you'll end up on the wrong train! Luckily in Sydney our train lines are colour coded so I always know I need to find the blue line when I want to go home.

When I'm going to somewhere on a different line than I'm used to I just check things a bazillion times and have screenshots of what platforms/lines/stations I need because I must always think I'm going to completely lose my memory and not remember what to do.
I love your stories! And I would have been a wreck trying to navigate the trains. It's just something I've never done. Have a great day!