Since I have had a lack of a car, I’ve made it a routine to catch the Amtrak from Sacramento to Davis. Usually these trips are quite uneventful. It’s a lackluster 15 minute ride from the heart of downtown Sac to Davisville. There are some memorable people/moments that I’ve encountered on these trips that I take from home to work and back. Here are a few of the favs/unbelievable:
1. Grumpy conductor
Most mornings, whether I’m biking to the station from my house (which has become quite rare for me, I gotta get off my lazy horse) or walking in from the bus, I am greeted (or mostly ignored) by a man that I call grumpy conductor. This gentleman used to be quite amiable. I would greet him, and he’d nod his head at me, or half smile. Every morning he would collect my ticket and I’d be off on my way to work. After about 2 weeks, for some reason this guy just turned completely sour. Who knows what his deal is? Perhaps he got sick of me asking for transfers every morning. Every other conductor that I’ve dealt with learns from and adapts to my request within 2 days. It seemed to me like good ol’ G.C. just didn’t want to deal with grabbing the transfers from his belt and punching them to pass over to me. Now, he sees me in the morning and doesn’t even acknowledge me. He runs past me when collecting tickets. Hence, I’ve dubbed him Grumpy Conductor.
2. Juno Conductor
There’s a little woman conductor who is only on my train a few days at a time. She’s quite interesting. She’s very sarcastic and a little bit weird. I have secretly dubbed her “Juno Conductor”. She’s one of the nicer conductors on the Capitol Corridor line. Our conversations usually end up inundated with sarcasm and interesting comments. I have told her that since she wields all kinds of power with her conductor’s hat, that I shall forever be subject to her authority. With a great hat, comes great responsibility!
3. Homeless Girl
Last week, I was waiting for the train to take me back to Sacramento after work, when I noticed sitting about 10 feet away from me, a young Caucasian girl. She decides to call me over to ask me a question about where the closest place with free internet might be. In the course of our conversation, she manages to tell me that Davis is full of the happiest, non-smoking people that she’s ever met. She also goes on to tell me that someone told her there were no “coloreds” in Davis. Upon looking at me, she decided that her source was obviously not correct. I was quite taken back by the fact that she used such a word. I mean, didn’t that one get retired in the 60’s? I thought it did. Pure ridiculousness.
4. Phone-less Mom
On one particular afternoon, I was running quite late getting to the train station to make my nightly train back to Sacramento. I had worked a little later than I was scheduled to and I had to make up for lost time by running to the train station. As I get to the station, (still rushing) I hear a voice saying: “Excuse me sir!” I respond with a hello and this young lady proceeds to ask me if she could use my phone. I was about 2 minutes from the train departing (I could hear it’s horn coming ever closer by the second). I tell her that it has to be quick because my train is coming just around the corner. She proceeds to dial a number, and encourages her young daughter to catch up to her, as she wants to walk towards my now waiting train. After a sec, she hands me the phone (still ringing) and asks me relay a message for her to let whoever was on the other line now what was what. I did answer the phone, but I ended up getting seats that were too late for going that shortcut.
There are a few more people, but for the time being, these are the ones that entertain most me during the tough times of public transportation necessity.