People watching and train obessions on the Metra

People watching and train obessions on the Metra

When I started my new job in the City, I had to get used to taking the train into work. The first time I took the train, I was so freaking nervous. I remember I had this lady next to me that I kept talking to because it was helping to relieve my anxiety. She, not appreciating my hospitality, eventually informed me that she "is in the quiet car for a reason."

Though I thought it was nice of her to tell me her original intentions, I kept talking anyway. She eventually gave in to my generosity of friendiness and entertained me for the second half of the ride.

Of course, that first trip was almost a month and a half ago. Flash forward to today, and I have developed a new problem on the train. I am a total people watcher/listener.

This is news to me because I never really pegged myself as a nosey person. I say that because, under normal circumstances, if something does not directly pertain to me, I do not care about it. However, on the train that theory goes out the window.

If a woman in front of me starts talking about how stupid her son is, I chime in. A guy rambles on about what he hates about everything, I give my two cents. Couple in front of me starts arguing, I listen so intently that I am afraid they may notice.

I try not to be so nosey, but I cannot help it. Other people are beginning to fasinate me. Of course, I think I am fasinated more by the fact that people are willing to share such personal information outloud in a public area.

For instance, I have had a guy next to me sext message his wife/girlfriend/mistress. He was not even trying to hide what he was doing. Eventually, I got uncomfortable and quit reading them. Well, I quit reading because he got off the train, and I felt it would be weird to follow him.

Of course, my obsession does not end there. Beyond my fasination with my fellow passengers, I am also very fasinated by the trains. I think I have even become a little OCD about it.

I know the time that we are suppose to hit every stop. I take note of when and where we normally have to brake for other trains, and I am fasinated by their scheduling delays and issues. I am also starting to notice a pattern of issues and delays.

Fortunately for my thirst of knowledge, on my outbound train, I have gotten to know my conductor. He has told me so much about how the trains work, why they work that way, and how it is different from years past. I have to say that I can totally understand how people develop hobbies of interest that relate to trains.

I am starting to picture myself as being one of those old men that build model trains in the basement. I then educate everyone that visits on why I built it, and I will get easily offended when they try to touch my handcrafted engine that was made in the 1940s.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself on my Metra line, come take a seat next to me. I gaurantee you we will have something to talk about it, and if we don't, talk to whom ever you like, I promise to listen.

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