An original story
You never know who you’ll meet on a train ride- LA to Dallas.
Traveling with the church lady
Ever since “The Lady Vanishes” (1938-Hitchcock), train travelers can wonder who their fellow passengers are. I’ve met federal energy experts, devastated survivors, traveling minstrels, men from WWII Japanese prison camps, and missionaries. But you’ll also met ordinary people. As Amtrak’s policy for meals is community seating you’ll almost always wind up with a meal-mate with a story- unless she’s just some old grandma. So on one trip, just to be polite, I asked the white-haired dearies across from me what they did to pass their time (as in babysit, clean house, knit, or whatever). The dearies kindly informed me that they designed nuclear missiles for the Department of Defense- they weren’t kidding. So much for my stereotypes. Who are you on the train with?
My Kerala train story
I was once on a train to Kerela in India. I was in too much of a hurry and didn’t book a place to stay. There was a very friendly Muslim guy who was drinking far too much whiskey. He was going to his sleeping compartment, then walking around, offering whiskey to the workers (who accepted,) and then going back to his sleeping compartment. Back and forth. We talked briefly about Islam. I thought that the fasting they did was to remember God. He informed me that the fasting was to remember the poor, not God. My comment was — why not just eat a little bit and give the rest of your food to the poor instead of gorging promptly upon sundown. The extremely poor don’t get to gorge ever! We talked about spirituality, meditation, Islam, travel and other topics. He told me that I was on the wrong path doing meditation. I wonder if that was a subtle hint from the brighter world about what was going to happen to me in my spiritual group which indeed did go sour. But, the best part about meeting this weirdo (who was kicked off the train by the guards for being a nuisance) was that he gave me the phone number for a very clean and affordable hotel in Ernakalum (near Kochi) for $20 a night. I booked from the train, and they were only one kilometer from the rail station which made for an easy and affordable cab ride!
(1) Traveling with The Church Lady? When this 93 year-old isn’t serving cookies she’s designing nuclear
missiles for Raytheon. #ttot
(2) During a long and soothing train ride I met a sweet 93 year old lady, Mrs. Higgins, a Nuclear missile designer. #ttot
(3) Meet Mrs Higins, a Sweet 93 year old Church Lady/ Nuclear missile designer