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GO Train Observations

The first thing is that the E-E-E tobicoke North guy isn’t around any more. That’s the GO employee who used to operate the intercom and call out the stops on the 7:45 train. Even when I first started this commute back in 2000, that dude was old, and you always thought this has to be his last year before retirement. I guess he finally finished. He wasn’t a stutterer in general—except when it came to that first E in Etobicoke North. Every day, without fail, “E-E-E tobicoke North, next station stop. E-E tobicoke North.” The new guy who replaced him is totally aware of the legacy he’s inherited, by the way, because he skips that first E entirely. Right now, we’ve just pulled away from ‘tobicoke North.

Second, and somewhat sadder than I expected this to be, I’ve seen no one I recognize on this train. I’m not talking about my actual friends here (although I’d be more than happy to ride along with them), I’m talking about the Gamer Boys and the Sad Divorcees. Have not spied any of them. Even the dude who'd been selling me my train tickets all these years is gone.

I hate most things about taking the train in, that’s no secret. But the one thing I really love and that I forgot about until yesterday morning, is the view of the Credit River after you leave Georgetown. You pull away from the station, roll past some houses and an industrial area, and then the ground beside the train drops, and about sixty feet below you see this little hidden valley where the Credit winds along and slips underneath the trestle. And on a good day there’ll be a half dozen deer wandering around. Every time I see that I think, I wish I knew that was there when I was a kid. It’d probably be bad form to sneak down there now and build some kind of fort, seeing as I’m thirty-three.

Another thought I’ve had lately—the public transit crown in the GTA is generally a good-looking bunch of people. They’re not to-a-person beautiful, but ‘reasonable attractive’ seems to be the norm. And I’m talking both girls and guys here. I say this because, waiting for the bus in Ottawa lately, I've been looking around and seeing an ugly-ass crowd of people. Sorry to sell out my city, but we’ve got an overabundance of shovel-faced, used-up looking people in Ottawa. People looking fifteen years older than they probably are; people who are American-style overweight. I don’t know what’s going on over there: I’m just reporting what I see.


Rebecca said…
Really? You think Ottawa people are unattractive compared to TO people? Clearly you've never had prolonged exposure to the people in my town, some of whom think bathing is an occasional experience, laundry is something to be done once a month, and outfits from 10 years ago are still in style, gosh darn it. I go to Ottawa and think, "Wow. These people are so much better looking than anyone in [redacted]."

(Catchpa: unsubs. I thought my comment was trapped in an episode of Criminal Minds)
Sarah in Ottawa said…
I think it's because folks in Toronto have to keep up appearances and look good. The bulk of the workforce in Ottawa is middle-aged and no longer care about stylish clothes, etc. The civil service is not a hotbed of fashion, let me tell you.
Beth said…
@Rebecca - You are supposed to do laundry more than once a month?
Anonymous said…
Rebecca - It sounds like you're describing acton. Except you failed to mention the constant whistling sounds from people talking through a set of crooked teeth.

Sarah - When you move to Toronto they give each of you a suit. It's a latex version of yourself but more attractive and in nicer clothes. Once we get home we unzip and that's that. It's not the most comfortable thing, but man we get lots of action here.

Beth - Not all of us have a kleenex-style-dispenser of JINX! t-shirts...

Dave - Do you take the same train as Shatton? Also, Ottawa is where all of the extras from old detective movies retire. You'll notice everyone talks like Bogey. Even the women.
Chris Vagg said…
Isn't Ottawa like the Hamilton of the North? That would certainly account for the decline in appearances I'm sure. But I'm sure Ottawa still have a larger number of teeth still intact.

Good Ole Conductor "Studder" Bill unfortunately was forced into early retirement about a year ago when GO Transit terminated their contact with CN and outsourced the train operations to Bombardier. I'm pretty sure at the ripe old age of 206, Bill was ready to retire anyway. The new crew, amoungst a crowd of snickers, refers to themselves as "your customer service ambassadors". That's right...high class only for us GO train commuters.
PaSsIn ThRu

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Jay said…
Wow, should I be offended?

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