Thursday, November 24, 2005

These demanding fans...

... they're never satisfied.

"I think you need to update your location more often..."

You try updating from a train from which even mobile service is spotty 'cos you're stuck in the middle of rural Mississippi, and you're running 6 hours late. Ended up missing Thanksgiving dinner - pulled into Chicago around 1900 hours.

One not-entirely unforseen advantage of the enforced relaxation on trains - gives me lots of time to ruminate. But more on that later - right now I'm tired, and there's more than enough easily recounted anecdotes and not-so-pretty pictures.

Reached the train station yesterday with minus one minute to spare, tires screeching. Luckily Amtrak standard time is similar to Indian standard time (though a bit more extreme). As it happened, the first leg of the journey was via bus (a bus deputed as a train) to the Texas-Arkansas border. The driver immediately put on some extremely irritating Disney crap to shut up the squawling kids, so I put on my headphones and caught a bit of the country-side.


Who'd've thunk it - East Texas is actually fairly green.



Mystery mean Texan machine on the truck bed. Tank tread, a long boom with a mean sudarhsan-chakra at the end.



Train when it finally arrived at Longview, Texas.



Those them there are the skyliner carraiges.



... and this is how it looks from the inside (next day).


Other random incidents.

An Indian couple chatting on the phone "Oh, excellent service. just slightly slow." Utter contrast to trash-talking granny (of whom there were several clones on this trip as well).


A 16-year old playing poker with his siblings, the oldest of whom couldn't ahve been over 10.



In the lounge, white teen/tween reading a book, black dude of roughly similar age ambles over looking for company.

Black dude in midwest, presumably chicagoan accent - "What're you reading?"

Other guy in Texan accent - "Oh, the Bible."

Silence.

Friendly laugh.

"... there's this story in Ecclesiastes about this guy who was searching for happiness, then realized that really only God matters to him.

...

"And then was happy..."

...

"It's a really cool story." Forced laugh.

Black guy, "... Huh! That's cool. Errm - I'm hungry - I'll go get something to eat..." and scurries away.

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