Take This Train and Shove It

November 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )


On Tuesday, Chicagoans faced one of the most brutal morning of commutes I’ve ever heard of. A small airplane crashed into a residential home near Midway Airport (it came within eight inches of where the homeowners were sleeping – they miraculously survived but unfortunately the pilot did not) so that obviously caused some flight delays. Then there was an accordion bus (basically a super long bus the size of two regular  buses) on Lake Shore Drive that got a flat tire and then CAUGHT ON FIRE while it was being repaired. Clearly, that messed up the entirety of Lake Shore Drive. On top of all that, yours truly got to experience quite a nightmare on the L. Next door to the L tracks was a school that was in the process of being renovated and it caught fire early in the morning. No one was injured (there or on the bus) but the water the firefighters used to put out the flames immediately froze and covered the train tracks and electrical wiring with a nice layer of icy potential death. This caused my train line and one other to completely quit running, which meant all the people who usually took those trains were forced to shove themselves onto the one and only line that WAS running. Considering how that line is always packed anyway, this did not go over well. I managed to squeeze in as soon as I could but I saw hundreds of people waiting on the platforms for spots that plain didn’t exist and I know they waited a good long time. But just because I made it on a train didn’t mean I was comfortable – it was more like being a sardine than being a person. I got closer to strangers than I ever want to get again and the fact that we were all sweating in our winter gear but unable to move to even take off a scarf didn’t exactly help. Claustrophobia and nausea definitely set in but I closed my eyes and thought of wide open spaces until I was mercifully able to get off the damn train.

What the L

And of course the escalator didn’t work in the train station I disembarked at so I had to walk up three flights of stairs to get out. And since I had to take a different line, I came out about a half mile from my normal stop and I had to book it to make it to work. Oh, did I mention the wind chill was somewhere around -10 during all of this? Because it was and that was like the icicle on top of a frozen crap cake.

At least I wasn’t alone, as all of these issues affected thousands of other commuters as well. That said, if I had my way I would’ve turned right around and gone home to bed the minute I found out about the train problem and stayed under my covers until Wednesday. Public transit has quite a few perks but the downsides can really be awful. I know my last couple of posts were talking all about the great things this city has to offer but some aspects of living here just plain suck (hear that, winter?). But if I had to choose between regularly paying for gas and sometimes inhaling the gas of my fellow commuters, I guess I’d rather save my money. At least that’s what I have to tell myself.

In other news, I think I may get an Uber account.

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