Friday, January 29, 2010

Train Hijinks

In college, I lived on campus. In grad school, I lived 6 blocks from my office. In Germany, I lived a 10 minute bike ride from work. Today, I live in Boston, MA and work in Providence, RI. I take an hour train ride each way and spend 3 hours per day commuting. The good news is that I do the reverse commute and the trains are never more than 1/2 full. The bad news is that they run fairly infrequently. And here something to ponder: The train starts at South Station. In Boston. It's the end of the line. I get on at Back Bay. It's the next stop, still in Boston, and not that hard to get to on the subway. Yet, the train arrives full at Back Bay, and most everyone on the train gets off. Can someone explain this to me?

Anyway, usually, the train is pretty reliable. Going home, I walk in the door at 7:08PM. But the past two weeks have been full of odd timings. Last Monday, there was an Amtrak train disabled on the tracks, and I got home one hour late. And the train has been noticebly late (more than 10 minutes) twice more since then. And suddenly, I've been synchronized with the neighbor across the hall. Leaving for work, I walk out the door at 8:18AM. In the past two weeks, I've opened the door to see my neighbor opening his door three times. The doors are exactly aligned, maybe 6 feet apart. It's pretty weird, especially since we're going to the same place (the train station), but aren't really inclined to talk to each other.

Speaking of being synchronized: Back during the many years that Sean and I were dating, we'd occasionally goes clothes shopping together. And Sean would say, 'Should I get this sweater in color X or color Y?' And I would say, 'I like color X.' And everything would be hunky-dory. But I should have been more forward-thinking. Now we live together and our schedules are such that a lot of the time Sean is heading out the door as I'm jumping in the shower. And every few weeks, I get home and I look at him and I look down at me, and he looks at me and looks down at himself, and, yes, we're matching. Not quite as embarrassing and getting to work and discovering that you're matching with your thesis advisor (yes, I've done that too) and now you need to go hide in your office all day. But pretty mortifying nonetheless.

Future blog posts: I'm thinking I should write a few about Boston. Are people interested in Boston?


Tim said...

I know very little about Boston. I only ever visit for work and invariably during lousy weather so I haven't actually seen much of the city. So yeah... Boston!

Also, I seem to remember Takemi having a recurring problem with being dressed identically to his adviser.

Jackie said...

Yay! Boston!

And I only recall the adviser thing happening once to me: black sweater, jeans. I only saw Andrey in passing in the hall; thankfully we didn't meet that day or have to be at some talk where people might actually see us.

DY said...

I'd love to hear more about Boston.

I found out there's an Austrian bakery in Chgo. Maybe you'll want to try it the next time you're in town.

Jackie said...

Ooh, looks good. I'll try to remember and check it out next time I'm in Chicago.