Sunday, May 17, 2015

Riding the rails

I love Amtrak. It's on time (more often than not), it's much cheaper than driving, and I enjoy the slice of life I see when I ride the rails.

I took the train from Chicago to my client's downstate offices on Thursday, just days after the transportation company suffered its worst accident in years. I was touched by how unusually chatty the morning conductor was. It's as though he was trying to assuage any passenger fears.

On the ride back that evening, I found myself next to a young man of 19 or 20. He alternated between working on a paper (looked like it was for school) and binge watching Friends on Netflix. Considering his age, I was surprised by how enthralled he was. Then I remembered at Easter my niece, age 22, told me she had just ploughed through the entire series on Netflix, as well. I know I remain massively fond of the gang from Central Perk, and am glad another generation is embracing them, too.

When he caught me looking at his screen, he graciously offered me a earbug. I told him "no, thanks," that I was enjoying guessing which episode he was watching without the benefit of sound. I did pretty well, too. The New Year's Eve when "Fun Bobby" cried ... Joey's VD poster ... episodes I thought I'd forgotten until I saw them again. (BTW, the friendly young man has also been binge watching How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. He looooooves Charlie Sheen.) I enjoyed chatting with him, and he's someone I never would have met had it not been for Amtrak.


  1. Some of my students are watching Friends, too. One more thing we bond over.

  2. Love Friends!! What a fun young guy you sat next to... :)

  3. Ah, public transportation. It's a great way to meet people from all over.


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