I have decided for some crazy insane reason to travel by train to New York. I am at this very moment of composing happily swaying along with the train, though by the time I post this I’d have already reached my destination due to the fact that the train does not have wireless.
However it has other unusual things about it. I made a reservation at five o’clock in the dinner car, curious about how good food can be on a train. Well it’s just airplane food really, so it wasn’t that great. But what makes this particular dinner stand out were the little old ladies I was sitting with.
Arriving right at five for my reservation, I was greeted by the dinner car attendant lady. She quickly told me where to go. Not a table by myself as I had assumed. No, she directs me to an occupied table, where two wrinkled and crinkled old women sat. I asked the woman to make sure that she really wanted me to sit there; she smiled at my surprise and repeated. So feeling very awkward I strolled over to the older ladies and slipped into the booth where I proceeded to make a fool of myself. My greeting went somewhere along the lines of this:
“Um, they told me to sit here. It’s um a little strange.”
One of the older ladies smiled, “Strange? Does it bother you?”
“Oh no, I’m just not use to it that’s all. I mean I’m fine if your fine.” I’m seeking reassurance here ladies and gents. Hoping they’d throw me some kind of bone or something.
“Oh we don’t mind. If you don’t mind,” they replied happily.
“I don’t mind.” And enter awkward silence stage left.
Now I’m no stranger to traveling and having random encounters with various people. But this was just well awkward. It was the train’s way of forcing socialization, or at least I assumed it is. What other reason could there be for setting total strangers together. This wasn’t a crowded café with only one chair open. No it was a very long car with many booths, but they were maximizing their space by sitting totally random people together.
Feeling completely out of my element only enhanced by the women’ strange Texan accent and elderly jumbled speech. I did manage to hold a very…strange conversation as again it was hard, considering that both their mumbles and the train rumble were of the same frequency. So I found myself repeatedly asking them to repeat what they were saying, which made it seem like I was the one with bad hearing. Here’s what I managed to get:
The women were twin sisters, 54 in age, one had red hair, the other had blond so it was really hard to tell they were twins. Both mothers and come from Long View. They hated traveling and cars, but did not take a bus to get around but a limo. I am rather unsure if she was joking or not. The red hair was very talkative and shared more than the blond. She was a mother of four and had one adopted son who loves her very much.
When it came time to actually have the food, both thought the food to be amazing to which I could only smile and nod. The blond really, I mean really like the stake as she continued to mention it continuously through the meal. The red head loved the bread pudding she had for lunch but was to full to have anything else.
As the meal came to a close and I was attempting to right myself after this very disorienting meeting, they both blessed me and sent me on my way.
I am still, even now, trying to get over the whole thing and wrap my head around what had happen, or more how I felt with having my world shoved into theirs. I find I enjoyed the sudden interruption and learned some valuable things. Firstly, train food sucks. Second, the dinner car likes to force people to socialize. Third, while odd and awkward the conversations can be interesting. This encounter has definitely left me excited for the rest of the trip, even though it’s only been four hours into my journey. Who knows maybe I’ll run into another pair of interesting old ladies.