I spend a lot of time going back and forth on the Amtrak from school to home. My parents own a small business and sometimes I go home to help out (and make some money to spend on coffee). Since I go to college in Philly, it’s a lot easier to take the train rather than driving because of the traffic. Overall, I tend to be on the train about 4 times a week. I’ve had some pretty strange experiences going in and out of the city.
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1. Someone handed me their baby.
Last fall I was headed home for the weekend. There was a woman in her twenties sitting on the other side of the aisle, with a baby about a year old. About twenty minutes into the ride, I was scrolling through social media and all of a sudden a baby blocked my vision. The mother plopped the baby down on my lap. After she did this, she asked if I could watch her child for a minute while she went to the bathroom. I would have said yes anyway, but she literally handed me, a total stranger, her baby without asking.
2. Someone moved my stuff.
When I travel in the middle of the day the train tends to be empty. There are always open seats and it’s courtesy to sit by yourself and not crowd someone else in this situation. I had already been sitting down for a few minutes in my seat, and there were open seats all around when someone picked up my bag from the seat next to me and moved it to the overhead compartment. At first, I thought they were trying to steal my backpack so I jumped up. They proceeded to sit in the seat next to me (where my bag was). I looked around and saw numerous empty rows.
3. Someone started smoking and denied it.
Okay, so you know the no smoking signs when you’re traveling? Yeah, the best bet is to obey them. On the way to Philly, you could smell smoke. The bathroom door was closed and the guy in there was smoking. Not only is this inconsiderate to others, but also to the staff. The staff had to tell him to stop, he denied it and was really aggressive about the whole ordeal.
When I thought about the memories I would make in college, I never thought the time I spent traveling back and forth would be memorable. But, while I have had really weird experiences on the Amtrak train, I’ve also had some hilarious times.