Friday, June 6, 2014

Overheard on the GO

I've been taking the 7:53 out of Oshawa mostly due to my daughter's inability to co-operate any more at 5:30 in the morning. She's now 9 and going to bed at 8:00 pm sucks balls for her, especially considering the two hour marathons of homework we'd been having, on top of after-school activities, so I've been unable to take the 7:15 train because I spend 20 minutes waking her up and miss my 6:42 am bus. It's been very trying. If I put her down at 8:00 pm and I get home at 6:30 pm, I feel like I don't "see" her. There's no quality time. Homework is not quality time. Homework is spent with me losing my shit and her shutting down. We're not creating memories here, so I decided I'd roll my hours forward.

Anyhow, where the hell was I going with this??? Oh, the suitcase story ... yeah, so I'm on the 7:53 now and it means taking a later bus and a Double Decker (yuck, more on that in a later post) and there's this woman who has fifty thousand suitcases who is on her way for a one month stay at a her granddaughter's in Halifax and her granddaughter has a really tiny house but it's her's and she works all day but the woman just lost her husband and she needs to spend time away from her house in Newcastle and go somewhere for a while so she figured she'd go to east coast because she's never been, well, she and Ernie (her deceased husband) went to Newfoundland once in 1967, but that's not Nova Scotia, and she found there was too much drinking and card playing and it wasn't really her thing so they decided to come back early... yes, I sat beside her. Can you tell?

At Oshawa, I helped my new super duper best friend with all her luggage and I tell her that she'd be best to take VIA to Toronto but no, her grandson who lives in Markham in a really lovely home that backs onto a farmer's field that she's pretty sure will be all houses one day told her it would be cheaper to take the GO train and it would be faster so she has already budgeted the money to get to the airport using public transit and she's not paying a penny more because it means paying the government and the government already gets enough of her money (I didn't have the heart to tell her who GO is) and she was taking the GO train. Also, her grandson told her that no one takes the GO train from Oshawa because they all drive and everyone works for General Motors so she should have no trouble with all her suitcases ...

By the time we got to Union and the thousand plus LSE people rolled off the train and I helped nana - who never stopped talking - un-stack her suitcases from the WASHROOM (for real) ... Oh, if you were one of the people who saw all this -- THANKS FOR HELPING -- because you know, the serious shade some of you were throwing my way as I played suitcase guarder while nana sat and sipped her Newstand coffee was very much noted. Jerks.

After I helped nana with her suitcases so she could get on the subway ... Dudes, don't even ... she slipped a $50 bill in my purse when I wasn't looking. At least I hope the $50 came from her and not some guy who was on the train and felt I deserved the $50 because of the non-stop story telling.

Your thoughts? I thought she was on a budget.


Squiggles said...

All I can think is: when did she breathe?

It was nice of you to help her out. I am not certain what the cost to Union from Oshawa on the VIA would be (I know there is/was a $25 different departing Union vs. Oshawa on a trip to Kingston), but maybe it was a timing issue? The GO trains do run more frequently than the VIA trains.

As for the budget: maybe she only budgeted $x for travel, and tipping comes from a separate portion of the budget?

Nora1968 said...

Hilarious story. But actually, CJ, she might very well be on a budget (probably is) but you were kind enough to listen to her (endlessly) and, far more important for an older woman with way too much baggage (literally) in an unfamiliar travelling situation, you HELPED her. In a way that, you know, her son who lives in the nice house in Markham could possibly have offered to do, given that Mom was recently bereaved and heading to another province for a month.

Actually, I found the end of this story heartwarming. I hear many senior loudly complain that no one has any manners or respect anymore, but I encounter just as many (usually on the GO train) whose manners are appalling and are definitely old enough to know better. The fact that this lady gave you a small reward for doing what no one else in her circle had bothered to do is a happy moment.

Jules said...

I think that was so nice of you, she obviously greatly appreciated you going out of the way to help her and the good company as well.

Anonymous said...


Bicky said...

Nanas don't need to have logic.

Peter said...

CJ, That was very nice of you to help a fellow passenger. I believe your travelling companion appreciated your assistance very much. It’s easy to take the view “you packed it, you carry it”, but I prefer Dalai Lama’s words: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

By way of a commendation for your exemplary behaviour, I believe you qualify to serve as a lead hand on a bus. Any driver would be grateful to have you work the cargo area and deflect unwanted conversation from them, aka “keep the chatty Cathy away from me”.