So there I was on the 5ish pm train going “WTF? why are there so many people on this train?” We were packed in like sardines, which doesn’t tend to happen so much in the summer. Thinking on it, I noted that it had been a really long wait for a train, so naturally, it was packed as a result. Oh well, it’s a short ride for me out to Barlow Max Bell Station.
Yeah, right. It was a weird day on the train. Normally, people get off and hardly anyone gets on, so the lack of breathing room tends to clear up relatively quickly. Not today. For the first two stops out of downtown, one person got off, two people got on. That doesn’t seem like much, but we are already packed in. Oh, I didn’t mention that today was my day carrying the laptop which is a huge case on top of my small backpack, so I can’t so much as turn without wacking someone with either my backpack or laptop case.
So we get to the Zoo station where a young lady talking on a cell phone get on. Annoying loud talker type, but whatever, I’m getting off next stop. We don’t move. We still don’t move. An announcement comes over the barely audible PA: Warbel frebre door ipfre foerry. Someone is blocking the door. We still don’t move. The next PA announcement is slightly more clear to the effect of hold on while I get out and check the door.
The train driver comes walking past and I notice that the door in question is the one next to where I am squished in. They spend about 5 minutes playing Homer Simpson’s favorite game “Door goes open, Door goes closed” I don’t get it because the door seems to close. But hey, maybe I’m missing something because I’m having to crane my neck over to near breaking to see what’s going on since I can’t turn around with laptop and backpack in tow.
The train driver walks back to the front. “Good”, I’m thinking, “he got it fixed and I can finally get out of this sardine can and away from loud talker cell phone girl who hasn’t even figured out why the train isn’t moving yet because she’s concentrating so hard on her phone. Then the power goes out on the train. Oh shit. Then the power comes back on. Whew! Seems that power cycling the train is one tricks they try to get things working again. Wonder if they use M$ Windows on these-Nawww.
So now the driver comes on the PA again saying there is still a problem with the door, going to try to override it manually, sorry for the inconvenience, blah blah blah. He comes walking back again, and plays round #2 of Homer Simpson’s favorite game. Cell phone girl is still blabbing on the phone going on about how it’s just stupid that this train hasn’t gotten moving yet and she has no idea why. Meanwhile another girl opposite me is text messengering someone: “My train is broke”. Heh, heh – not everyone on the train was a total idjit.
Finally, the train driver goes walking back to the front. Comes on the PA saying that he can’t get the sensor to confirm that the door is closed, so he will have to take the train out of service and remove the train from the main track in emergency mode, so all the other trains backed up behind can get moving again. We can all get off the train and wait for the next one or two or three that it will take to fit all of us on there.
I say, “screw this” and start walking the long convoluted path to the Barlow Max Bell station. Three trains pass me while I’m walking, but I don’t care – I’m out of the train. Besides, I gots to pee – If I can’t hold it I can find a convenient bush along the way at least. I make it to the Barlow station, and as I’m passing through, the PA comes on: “Your attention please, warble mble smrset south mble themb ten minute delay mble thwe wthrn dom north east mfboe mnt delay mboe ” Well, you get the idea – evidently Calgary Transit was having other major train delays along the whole system. Evidently, the echo in the Barlow station is so sever you can’t understand dick on the PA – even though it’s loud enough in there.
So to really rub salt in my wounds, I have to make a pit stop at the Family Foods along the way (not to pee – still holding that in). Need food so I can eat tomorrow type of shopping. I get to the checkout counter, no line up (yes!) and get my stuff rung through. “I need a price check on till #1” Great. “This is gonna take a bit” says the clerk. Shit. The kid who comes to do the price check looks like, twelve and doesn’t come back. The clerk send another kid, who at least looks like he’s 16 after kid #1. I finally get my groceries and get the hell out of dodge.
1) Being stuck on a train in rush hour is worse than being stuck in traffic.
2) Pee before you go home if there is any doubt.
3) Calgary Transit PA systems suck.
4) Walking between the Zoo and Barlow takes longer than you’d think
5) Next time, take the bus, err, walk, err I guess there is no good way to get around in Calgary anymore.