Overheard in the Quiet Car…
Bustling commute back to Jersey last night. Despite the weather outside deciding to spring ahead a bit early, Penn Station was the epicenter of the perfect storm of hassle and noise for last night’s commute.
The NJ Transit crowd was dense with Wednesday matinee birds, Big East Tournament fans heading home after an exciting afternoon of basketball upstairs, and the regular commuters, cursing their heavy coats and Hump Day headaches.
Thankfully, we got a tip from a NJT employee ahead of the general announcement, that our 5:14 train was parked on distant track 11, and was at the far west part of the station.
All within earshot weaved through the concourse, and down to track 11, for the long march past the Amtrak train, and the track was announced just as we early-birds were embarking on the train.
Soon the cars filled to the brim. I was lucky to get a window seat. Not so lucky were the matinee folks and basketball fans, squeezing into the aisle.
I must give props to the mother/daughter team that arrived behind me, boxing out and setting picks like Connecticut Huskies Alex Oriakhi and Shabazz Napier.
When the daughter discovered one open seat on the aisle being “saved” she blurted out “You can’t save seats! My mother has a bad leg, she needs to sit down!” What the daughter point guard didn’t know, is that the woman for whom the seat was being saved was right behind her. No blood no foul–the ref let the call go. Graciously, the seated woman got up,
and gave the matinee folks the seats. She stood right there in the aisle with her friend.
After a long day, nobody was in the mood for small talk.
Our car packed to the gills, it was a grim and quiet ride from there on out.