Fall….. Trainspotting

Fall signals the preparation for the dreaded winter hibernation – sweaters and jackets coming out of closets, leaves littering all over the backyard, dark clouds covering the sky, drizzles in late afternoon. It’s a little depressing when 5:30pm feels and looks like midnight . I’ve always thought that people who enjoy autumn or fall are loners by nature. Apples and pumpkins are darn cheap. A trendy restaurant offers their fall trademark Applelogy treat – a variety of menus consisting of exclusively apple recipes from soups, salad, main courses of meats and fish with apple ingredients, all the way to dessert and hot cider to close the meal. Just wonderful… plain wonderful.

The chilly and rainy weather makes people not want to drive. The overland train I take to commute to work had become a little crowded and faces of commuters increasingly becoming familiar. My ride is fairly short, 4 stops lasting for 30 minutes, barely enough to get a power nap. I’ve been getting into the middle cars of the long train lately, ending up almost in the same seat everyday, beside a young couple who for the most part of the trip remain eerily quiet. One that never escapes my attention in the same car is this middle aged, perhaps late forty-ish Pinay who appears to be incessantly scribbling something on a tiny notebook the whole trip, every time I see her on the train. At first I thought she must be doing crossword but in a tiny spring type notebook? Doing combinations and permutations of lotto numbers perhaps? Is she some kind of a debt or tong collector? What the heck is she scribbling on that little notepad? Complex math equations? I’m intrigued. I tried to do some sleuthing, passed through her seat and glanced on the pad but she promptly pressed it against her breast and smiled at me. Ooops, sorry. The next time I’ll take the aft car and get across through the connecting door, from her behind and check that darn notebook out, I thought. What the heck. Ahh..maybe I should leave her alone and mind my own business.

I’m in headed to lala-land as soon as I feel the steel dragon move. I need that nap be it a nippy 5 minutes or a invigorating 15 minutes on a real good day. I hate the idea of train inspectors waking me up to check my ticket. The train still uses the honor system which assumes that one had paid his fare the moment he steps into the train. Inspectors check tickets randomly and the fine can be stiff if caught without a proper ticket.

Just last week I snoozed a bit more than usual and missed my home stop. How can this young couple who knew that I was going down the same station everyday not even bother to bump my leg or coughed a little louder to wake me up? Geez, I took me almost 45 mins to take the next westbound train to take me to my home stop. What a bummer. One time I dozed off pretty good on an early morning train to work and when I woke up, the train was empty. The train master was blaring his announcement “ the train is now out of service and all passengers must disembark”. It had reached its final destination I could have sworn it was heading for the maintenance yards in 10 seconds. The thought of me frantically banging the train windows at the yards like some freak in a Friday the 13th episode isn’t exactly inspiring so I jumped with my laptop bag and dashed off to the doors like a crazed kangaroo. I beat the doors just in time and I swear it was the fastest 10 meter dash I’ve ever done in my whole life. THAT certainly woke me up and boy was I pumped up and felt like I didn’t need the usual coffee to charge me up for the day!


9 Responses

  1. I’ve miss my bus stop a couple of times before. But only by one stop. Naaalimpungatan naman ako kaya hindi ako napapalayo.

  2. This entry reminds me of my one-week project work in Manhattan. Commuting was fun at the outset but I eventually got sick and tired of going to the subway. Being from the heartland, I have the luxury to drive without worrying about traffic and missing a ride. But overall, it was fun to live and work like true New Yorker. That person who said that if you could live in New York, you could live anywhere in the world was darn right. If plans push through, I might spend sometime in Toronto next year.

  3. Niceheart – missing a stop can be a real bummer. When i am scheduled to pick up my daughter from day care, I make sure I don’t sleep or sometime put an alarm on my cell to wake me up!

    Yeah John, the subway can be a real drag if u do it too often and delays can be irritating too, imagine being holed up in an underground tunnel…

  4. missing a stop because we are in the deepest state of slumber can be a testament to you’re previous post — stress and being overworked!

  5. I love winters. Of course, there is no such thing as a winter season in the Philippines so I haven’t had experience it. But I’ve seen a lot of winters in movies and television shows and even in the books I’ve read like Gorky Park or The Brothers Karamazov. I could only imaging how snows would fall softly from above and fall to the ground like feathers. It is such a lovely scene I guess.

  6. It started snowing here in our town last Thursday night. It feels and looks like winter na. Grrrr…We’re having a heavy snowfall as I type this comment. Going to class this morning was such a challenge, I tell you.

    I also take ‘power naps’ during train rides. And like you, I don’t like the train conductor waking me up just to see my train pass. What I do is to leave it on the train table and doze off. It works all the time.

    About the Pinoy lady with a tiny notebook. Maybe she’s a blogger. Maybe she wants to jot down all her observatons for blogging purposes. I don’t think it’s a list of “utang.” LOL.

    You last paragraph is like a movie sequence description. Pampelikula. 🙂

  7. Irrealis, you did hit me there pal. Thanks for your posts. Do you have a blog if I may ask?

    Major Tom, winter can cause depression too! It’s too much to have for 3 months, that I can assure you. To some Pinoys the by-product of cold can be advantageous, for example, mamawala ang mga galis-galis sa katawan, pupula and pisngi, atbp… LOL

    Hi Jayred.. Hope the winter can give u a bit of rest and some good snuggling with your hubby near the fireplace. As for the Pinay with the notebook, it is still a mystery kung ano yung ginuguhit nya. Baka nga blogger LOL..Sabi ng isang friend ko baka raw nag bibilang ng araw … paulit ulit baka tagilid daw
    ang rythmn method….LOL

  8. that lady is a brainteaser doing a brainteaser ha ha

    the scene were you dashed off the train ran in my mind like a movie scene he he hey, use your celphone as alarm. that way you dont miss the stop.

  9. Hi Bing… who knows I might find out what’s with this mystery notebook sometime in future and I’d blog about it. LOL

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