I planned to take the South Shore Commuter Train to Chicago today and headed to Michigan City to pick it up early this morning. All went well until I arrived at the station and saw at least one hundred children, probably grade school age judging from their appearance and behavior, hovering near the tracks.
Whoa, my mental reins pulled in. Does this mean I’ll have to stand for the two hour ride? Or will some polite youngster offer a seat? Will I listen to unbridled laughter and silliness when I’d planned on concentrated effort regarding a project for two hours?
I went to the stationmaster.
“Are there enough seats on the train to accommodate all the children and adults,” I inquired. After all, until I purchased the ticket, there was still the option of driving all the way to Chicago. She said yes without elaboration. So I plunked my money down, took my ticket, and headed to where I hoped the train doors would open so that I could be among the first to hop on.
It was interesting. There were two groups of excited children standing on the track with a group of not-so-excited adults waiting in between them. One woman actually said aloud to another, “What car are the children going to be in? We want to be in a different one.” My sentiments exactly, although I had nobody to share them with aloud.
The train finally arrived and inhaled all the passengers. Sure enough, there was room for everyone with various age groups choosing different cars. Possibly the children didn’t want to be with the older riders any more than they wanted to be with the children. All in all, it made me think that the train system has had this experience before and knew what to do. The ride into Chicago was most pleasant, and I got to work on my project uninterrupted.