Normally, the commuter rail is a pretty laid back experience, which is why I like it (and trains) in general. You arrive at the station, get on your train, and a little while later, arrive at your destination. I love it! No hassles with traffic or other drivers or your own car or weather. Simple. Easy. Painless.
Until last night.
On the Providence, RI bound train, just outside of Sharon, MA they had switch issues. The train had to come in on the other side of the track and people have to get off on the INBOUND side of the station, rather than the outbound. No big deal.
Then, outside of Mansfield, MA, there was complete switch failure and the train was stopped for a really long time. Like, a really, seriously long time. I’m trying to text The Big Guy to tell him not to wait for me at our usual stop, go home, have dinner, and I’ll text/call when I get to our usual pick up point in South Attleboro, MA. Alas, we’re in a complete cellphone deadzone. I try to get on gTalk and take advantage of this free wireless internet the commuter rail supposedly has. No signal – Fail.
Eventually I see all these people getting off the train. What? We’re not near any stop, so where are they going? Apparenltly we were close enough to the Mansfield stop that people were getting out and walking down the tracks the 500 yard to the station. Oh, did I mention that by this time it was pitch blackout and pouring rain?
I get through to The Big Guy, he’s on his way to Mansfield, and I jump down to the tracks. Stepping carefully on the wooden ties, I prayed that no train came up the other way. Walking with me was a young woman from the area, wearing teeny white heels and a traditional Pakistani headscarf. I offered to share my umbrella with her and we chatted while we walked, both keeping an eye out for any oncoming trains.
The station was a madhouse, with people yelling into cellphone, trying to locate their rides (we were still on the INBOUND side of the tracks and most people’s rides were on the otherside,) trying to get someone to come pick them up, and some people had given up altogether.
Lucky for my new friend and I, our rides appeared quickly — The Big Guy’s and his GMC looking like a knight in shining armor on his valiant steed to this wet and cranky librarian.
In retrospect, this isn’t half as dramatic as what people in Texas are dealing with. THAT is a disaster. This was an annoyance. However, I’ve never been so happy to be in dry pajamas with a glass of wine.