back to the city

belleville train station

this morning, i’m headed back to ottawa on the train. it’s been a really long week. i can’t believe only 7 days ago i was running that half marathon… in retrospect it seems like about a month!! my dad’s been doing better – every day he seems to be a little bit more like himself, but it’s the start of a long road. all things considered, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else.

my sister dropped me off at the train station bright and early. can i just take a minute to say she’s the best? seriously this girl does it all: three kids, massive dog, and she’s so, so close to being a midwife – only about a year left of practicum and she’ll be catching babies all on her very own! i’m so very proud of her (in case you couldn’t tell.) i should note that i’m proud of both my sisters, but being around sarah and seeing her daily crazy hectic life for the past week has renewed my appreciation for all that she does over the course of a 24 hour period.

so here i am sitting on a train. it brings back so many memories of a trip i took out to the northern part of quebec (the gaspe region to be specific) when i was 13. it was a with an exchange program called SEVEC and you were paired up with a family in that part of the country that spoke hardly a word of english. the train ride was about 30 hours long and i remember there was this one car that had a clear bubble for the cieling. it was a double decker and in the night i snuck up there and watched the open night sky. i associate so much of that summer trip with the train until this day.

train rides are a funny thing – they have that knack for being romantic. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the older modes of transportation.

when we got to the train station in belleville this morning, we found out a new one had been built to replace the old one (old one pictured above). the little station that had been used for so many  trips to and from home still stands beside the new one – in my memory it’s that place for departures and homecomings, that small little antiquated building with just one room and one ticket window. the overhanging roof that covered you while waiting for the train has that scalloped trim. it’s just a shadow of the past. and because it’s still standing there, the new station looks so huge and modern and unnecessary.

i don’t know why i got all sentimental about a silly old train station!

i’m excited to get home for a few days, see my puppy and mike and catch a bit of a breather before heading home again this weekend.

hope everyone has a great start to the week!


Stretch Limo

Have you ever had an off duty bus driver offer to give you a ride?

That happened to me last night.

It worked out perfectly actually because having left my house behind schedule, I had been waiting for a while at an unfamiliar stop and no bus seemed to be showing up. When a bus marked “out of service” stopped to let the last of his passengers off, I poked my head in the front door to ask the driver  if the bus number I was expecting did in fact do that route at that particular time.

Yes it does,” he says. “But where are you going?”

Downtown,” I tell him.

Hop on. I’ll give you a ride to the hub where you can catch one of the other express routes going down town.”

So thinking we’ll be travelling a total of 2 kilometres where he’ll stop for his break or something, I hop on as I’m told.

But then he passes by the first major stop.

And he keeps going.

And we pass another major transfer point. Yep. Just flies right on through.

As I’m sitting by myself in the back I can’t pretend I didn’t consider that I was being taken to some secluded place somewhere. Can you blame me? I am after all a cute, vulnerable, single girl (emphasis on cute thankyouverymuch) who just happens to have grown up in the “don’t take candy from a stranger” / “don’t get in the back of a white van” generation. And I’m fairly certain “don’t get onto a large empty, out of service bus” would have been on that list too if they didn’t think we were so stupid as to actually consider it.

But then I remembered I was on a double accordion bus and the act of hiding that beast inconspicuously somewhere would probably be a task. So I figured I had the fact that we were in a rather large moving vehicle with upwards of probably 12 wheels on my side. Any alley/wooded area you try to park one of those things in, your tail is definitely gonna hang out.

At any rate, I’m just saying I’m glad I didn’t try to bust out the emergency window and then fling myself Cat Woman style onto the next closest moving vehicle.

In the end? Best bus driver of life. We flew the majority of the route downtown and I arrived at my destination point in 25 minutes flat (in what would have normally taken upwards of 45 or 50 minutes).

On my  own privately chauffeured bus no less.

It’s basically the closest thing I’m gonna get to stretch limo and I’ll take it.

When I got off I thanked the driver a few times and told him to have a good break (which after small talk  was established that that was in fact where he was headed… as I originally expected).

I then spent the next hour or so sending apologetic thoughts his way … considering the fact that I almost mistook his random act of kindness as kidnapping. Can’t someone do something nice without being accused of ulterior motives? You know, he probably would even get in trouble for doing something like that if it was found out. Protocols or some other such nonsense. But it was such a nice gesture that made such a difference in my day.

It’s just so gosh darn hard to tell these days.

Or is it?