When you flush the toilet does it fall onto the tracks or is there a storage car for all the crap?

The alarm went off at 4:40 Thursday morning.

Which is really fucking early when bedtime doesn’t come until just 4 hours earlier. A wake-up call made worse by the fact that I tossed and turned during those measly 4 hours. But I had a train to catch and I was not going to miss it.

I had never been on a train before. Well, other than the one at the zoo and that hardly counts. I mean come on, I can walk faster than that train and it only really goes in a circle. That would hardly meet Amtrak’s standards.

The train I was getting on was the late train of the day. Set to leave at 6:15 a.m. I was excited about the new experience, nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, and absolutely hating the fact that I had to be up so early for the ride. But that’s as late as they run. So after a shower, half a blueberry Eggo, and not nearly enough coffee we left for the station.

Not much is going on at the Amtrak station at 5:45 a.m. in Toledo, Ohio. Everyone is noticeably tired and nobody says much of anything. We got our tickets from the ticket counter,  found a place on one of the leather benches, and waited for our train to arrive. G-tot and I were heading to Union Station in Chicago where we would be picked up to spend the weekend with my mom and step-dad. I was driving back home at the end of our trip so along with our bags I had to bring a car seat. Which, it turns out, is a giant pain in the ass.

In an effort to keep minors with their guardians, families with kids under 15 got to board the train first. G-tot and I were at the front of that line. Let me paint you a little picture.

One small piece of carry-on luggage.
One backpack.
One laptop bag.
One purse.
One car seat.

Very early in the morning (which is not known to be my most pleasant time of day).

And you know what the first thing the assistant conductor said to me when she took our tickets as we were getting ready to board the train? Not “Good morning”. Not “Welcome aboard.” No, instead she said in a accusatory voice, “Why didn’t you check any bags?”

Blink. Blink. I have not had enough coffee for this.

“Umm…I don’t know. I’ve never been on a train before.”

“That wasn’t very smart.”

What? Well screw you too lady. Way to be helpful. And you can kiss my ass as I drag my crap—that is within the range of number of acceptable items—onto the train.

She managed to piss me off and we hadn’t even stepped onto the train yet. Add to that the 2 extra hours the trip took to get to Chicago and I was so ready to get off that train by the time we arrived. Especially after sitting just outside the station for a good 20 minutes. So close but yet so very far away. I’m crossing it off my list and making no plans to board another one any time soon.

9 comments to When you flush the toilet does it fall onto the tracks or is there a storage car for all the crap?

  • amyfidler

    hshahahahahaaaaaaaaaa. illustrated as only you can write it.

    i wouldn’t have known to check the baggage either.


    Holly {ArtistMotherTeacher} Reply:

    I was well within the baggage limits. If it was such an issue why didn’t the dude that gave us the tickets say something? The assistant conductor had a huge stick up her ass that morning.


  • I am really surprised. Really about a couple of things.
    1. I am shocked you were able to get a train so late in the day. Everytime I have taken the train out of Toledo, it is around 3am.
    2. I have never had any problems taking the train. From Toledo I have ridden the train out to DC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle. Some more than once. When I lived in Norfolk, I rode the train up to DC every couple of months for 3 years.
    I never had any problems. It was great because I could read a book, surf the web, play a game, watch a movie, watch the scenery, even have many cocktails if I wanted.
    The conductors and brakemen weren’t very friendly, but everyone else was great.
    I guess what I am saying, is don’t discount the train because of one experience.


    Holly {ArtistMotherTeacher} Reply:

    Huh. The only times available to depart from Toledo were 5:20 and 6:15. Neither ran on time that morning. I’m sure I would be up for another trip—like to Toronto or something cool like that—just not anytime soon.


  • Keep in mind that I haven’t traveled by train out of Toledo for 6 years at least. As to the baggage, I would bet it was the car seat he was talking about. Everything else seems perfectly normal, but if it were a packed train, you wouldn’t have been able to put it anywhere.


    Holly {ArtistMotherTeacher} Reply:

    I just shoved all of it (except the small pc. of regular luggage) on the floor in front of G-tot’s seat. His legs were short enough that he didn’t need that room.


  • Alyssa H

    “That wasn’t very smart.” ???? Excuse me?! I don’t know how you handled that so well, Holly, because I would have caused a scene. I don’t care what that person’s job is, they’re still serving you and you’re still a paying customer. Who thinks it’s okay to basically call a customer stupid? Not a whole lot of people take trains these days. I wouldn’t have known what was necessary to check in, either.


  • It falls on the tracks…at least it did the last time I rode a train.

    I have never been on a long train ride. The longest one I did is the five hour one to NY from Boston. I always wondered how it would be to travel all the way across the country by train. I would also one day like to take a steamer to Europe. Oh wait! Europe. I did ride a train overnight through the Alps. But I slept most of the way so I don’t remember much about it.

    I am sorry your train experience was not up to par. But that seems to be the problem of the bitch who ruined things before the adventure began. Customer service is long gone form this country.


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