Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Thursday Thirteen #14 — I Spy Amtrak

Posted by infinitygoods on January 16, 2008


Here are 13 things I spied people doing on an Amtrak ride which was running four hours late.

  1. Read/study. Lots of reading books, textbooks, newspapers, comics, magazines, documents. A few books were even traded.
  2. Write. I wrote this post, and a few other people were writing, too.
  3. Knitting. One woman was knitting with snow white wool and dragging it all over the tables, seats and (yikes) even the floor. By the time her project is done, I think it will have become public places gray.
  4. Play cards. Some Germans were having a really great time at it and laughing all the way.
  5. Use laptop. Can a battery really last this long? It did for a woman applying to graduate school. Actually it turned out she had found a lone electric outlet right by her seat. How lucky!!
  6. Listen to music. And recharge the iPod in the scenic car, too.
  7. Sleep. From babies to seniors and every age in between, it was really tiring to wake up at the crack of dawn and be delayed by four hours due to poor weather throwing tree trunks and mud on the tracks. We had our own cleaning crew precede us all the way through the trip.
  8. Talk on cell. To make new plans, to let concerned people know we were alive and well, to check on middle of the night bus and cab service, and sometimes just to vent.
  9. Eat. So much waiting makes people hungry. Even those who had a sack lunch or even dinner found themselves having to make a trip to the dining car or the snack bar.
  10. Play video games. The 7 to 27 crowd was armed with video games to pass the time.
  11. Watch scenery. We shared the train with an Amish family who watched lots of scenery, spending most of the time in the scenic car. They spoke and laughed with each other, and they were much more polite than most people are these days. (And they were carrying/guarding the most gigantic bag of Cheetos I had ever seen — a gift???)
  12. Watch DVDs. The batteries ran out, but while they lasted, a few people watched movies.
  13. Talk to strangers. After several hours “in the same boat,” people didn’t think they were strangers anymore and common points of interest started being noticed all through the train.

Happy Thursday!!

Visit Thursday Thirteen for a list of more participants.

12 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen #14 — I Spy Amtrak”

  1. Maria said

    Wow, cool list! I don’t think I ever rode on a train. I enjoyed that!


  2. melanie said

    I love to people watch…I have had layovers at the airport and have done or seen people do all of the above. I always seem to want to munch on something.

  3. mamacita said

    I really like this post! I am a people-watcher – it fascinates me to notice and observe what people are doing and how they interact. I could do it for hours. I’ll have to remember to take my paper with me the next time I go on a trip. πŸ™‚

  4. hodsmom said

    May I ask a random question? How did you get you OpenID url with WordPress to work? I can’t for the life of me figure it out. arrgh! lol!

    Thanks so much!

    Tammy and Parker

  5. Sounds a lot like my airport experience on the way to/from Yellowstone! I can totally relate!

    Btw, “public places grey” is simply poetry. May I borrow that phrase?

    Happy TT; thanks for visiting; you know you can always come to me to commiserate about delayed travel!

  6. 4urpets said

    I am a veteran train rider. You forgot DRINKING. People loooove to drink on the trains. Maybe there were no drinkers on the train that day:)

    You probably saw Minnonites instead of Amish. Minnonites look exactly like Amish but they go out and venture into the world. They eat in restaurants and they dress their little babies in the pinkest outfits.

  7. Laurence said

    Very nice list! #7 is very good. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Happy T13

  8. Nicholas said

    I traveled a lot by train in England and I never went anywhere without a book. People who have loud conversations on cell phones are a bit of a drawback though. It seems that most people you saw on that trip had found ways to enjoy it even though it was running late.

  9. infinitygoods said

    Tammy, I just entered my info and it worked automatically. If you use WordPress dot ORG rather than dot COM, that might be the difference. I would contact WordPress via their support forums. If that still is not helpful, I would contact their customer service. WordPress has always been very helpful and Matt himself has even e-mailed me once to help with an issue I was experiencing.

    While things get figured out, you can sign up with the other service you are trying to comment on and use your website address when you fill out the very short form. You can also type in your website address at the bottom of the comment as you did here.

    Good luck with the tech glitch. Best wishes for you and Parker.

  10. infinitygoods said

    Susan, glad to hear you saw poetry in my public places gray. You may use it. πŸ™‚

    I was glad to have discovered your site too. I love travel, photography and writing.

  11. infinitygoods said

    4urpets, I’ve been lucky enough to never find anyone intoxicated on the many trains I’ve been on, but I have not been so lucky on the airlines. What hellish flights those were! One in particular would have given Steven King a field day.

    I can’t say I am an expert in distinguishing Mennonites/Amish/similar religions. There was a baby, but no pink outfit in sight. The baby was wearing an emerald green outfit to match the mommy’s outfit with a white cap. The father was wearing black pants and a black vest with a royal blue shirt, suspenders and no tie. He had a beard and no mustache. The teen daughter was wearing a royal blue dress with a white pinafore and white cap. The mother was wearing an emerald green dress with matching pinafore which went up in a triangular shaped bodice. She had a white cap. Both women wore their hair in a round bun at the nape of the neck. Their dresses were about calf length. They had heavy black stockings. All had black shoes. Yes, I watched them carefully. It was the very first time I had seen Amish (or Mennonites??). You never know this information might come in handy for a book some day. I was really intrigued by the giant bag of Cheetos. A good two and a half feet, maybe even bigger. I can’t imagine these people eating Cheetos (and they never opened it), so maybe they thought it was the world’s best gift since sliced bread. I so wanted to ask them and even to have an entire conversation with them, but at the same time I did not want to bother them or intrude on their privacy so I watched their every move from afar — all the way on the opposite end of the scenic car, taking two trips closer for discreet but better inspection — once as I walked to and from the dining car, another time as I got a seat facing the windows. As far as I could tell they had no idea they were being carefully studied. Then I went on to people-watch the rest of the passengers.

  12. Robin said

    I’m cringing on your behalf – I got stuck for hours once years ago on a British Rail train from York to London. I was stuck in the smoking car with a group of drunken female rugby players who chose to sing, loudly, the entire time. I still can’t hear the song Allouette within breaking out in hives LOL.

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