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Chatting on the train

  • 23rd Dec, 2005 at 6:40 PM

I have to tell you that my favourite thing about travelling is meeting interesting people. I've met a crazy stamp collector, an FDA inspector, and several fairly normal people.

This time, on the trip to Toronto, I met Monique who I discovered was a kindly grandmother travelling to visit two of her two grandchildren. At first, things were quite awkward because she talked to the conductor in very rapid French and I in my considered English. It looked like she was examining me, so I apologied for not talking to her: "Je m'excuse, mais mon français est très mauvais."

I got the impression that she brushed it off as nonsense, and then she launched into a conversation about glasses for a while. I struggled to keep up and make small talk through a mixture of pidgin French and much handwaving.

At some point in this exercise, she got sick of my dear but useless attempts at understanding and switched to English. We continued at a much more rapid pace after that. I discovered that she was a lawyer in Montréal who has since retired and had taken up with reading about politics and finance.

We talked for over four hours, spent time complaining about the train arriving late, and laughed about life. It was beautiful and very civilised. I did some eavesdropping on the conversations around us: there were two women who spent time gossiping, a businessman talking about exploiting third-world workers, and a teenager being generally flakey with her friends.

As we got off the train, I helped her with her luggage and we walked into the station together. After that, I strapped on my backpack and strode into the subway with a smile on my face.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
24th Dec, 2005 05:06 (UTC)
o o i love those little meetings.
best friends of the moment.
24th Dec, 2005 05:28 (UTC)
Yeah. This was the first time I traded contact information, so I'll give her a call when I return to town.
24th Dec, 2005 05:31 (UTC)
:) so nice.
24th Dec, 2005 05:30 (UTC)
You really can get som weird ones, especially on the bus. I had the distinct honour of sitting next to a disgruntled truck driver all the way from salt lake city to elko, as he berated his old company for having the audacity to search his rig and find his whiskey bottle under the seat. He was on the bus because they had also revoked his license.
24th Dec, 2005 05:40 (UTC)
That's awesome! I found my journal entry about the crazy stamp collector.
24th Dec, 2005 06:23 (UTC)
pidgeon or pidgin? :)

I don't tend to talk to people on the train very often.. perhaps i should start.
24th Dec, 2005 14:02 (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )