Thursday, April 03, 2008

in which i'm back (after a four-day train/bus/plane trip)

In short:

Sunday 30 March:
0545: walked to bus stop in San Francisco (to catch the bus that would take me to the cross-country train in Emeryville)
0635: bus is late. Wait
0640: bus is still late. Worry.
0655: bus arrives. We make it to Emeryville with 20 mins to spare.
0830: train leaves Emeryville on its two-day trip to Chicago. Expected arrival time Tuesday 1 April, 1530

Sunday afternoon:
Make friends with a German fellow-traveller and fellow PhD-er. Chat with two elderly ladies. Meet a Mum and a baby (baby was called Sequoia).

1740: Realise train is running late. Ask conductor about it. Am told this is normal and "we'll make it up easy"

Sunday evening:
Eat a banana and an apple. German has bread and cheese. Share fruits in return for bread/cheese.

Sunday night: Train is increasingly late. Conductor, once again, tells me not to worry. Worry anyway.

Monday 31 March:
Train is even further delayed. Waiting for freight trains, frozen switches, people being arrested (two sets of people, not just one) and random stops in the middle of cornfields for mysterious reasons take their toll. Train is now 10 hours late.

Monday night:
The last coach is decoupled from the train. Wake up, after a dodgy night's sleep, to find we are suddenly the last coach on the train.

Tuesday 1 April:
Announcement is made we will not make any of our connections in Chicago. Sandwiches and (non alcoholic) drinks are given away for free. Alcoholic drinks are discounted.

Much revelry among people wearing singlets ensues.

I make a frantic phone call to LilSis who books me a flight from Chicago to Washington.

Tuesday night: arrive in Chicago at 2355, almost 8 hours late.
Walk to the subway (two blocks away). Take subway to the airport.

Wednesday 2 April, 0545: catch a flight to Washington. Realise there's a one-hour stop over in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia-DC flight is delayed.

1234: arrive in Washington. Take metro to Woodley Park. Wait for L bus.

1400: catch L bus after a 30-min wait. Arrive home. Sleep.

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