liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

The Train

I took the amtrak from Portland to Seattle and back again. On the way there a young couple traded their business class seat to me, so they could sit together. I liked business class. There was a nice little heater right by my chair, and the seat was big enough to sit crosslegged in. On the way back, I took my comp ticket to the ticket counter to ask if I could upgrade it to business class. The lady checked and checked in the computer, and the moment she realized that my ticket was a comp, she scoffed, and said "No! This is a free ticket!" as if it was totally outrageous that I thought I might get away with riding in business class. I am after all just skiing riffraff, with a green gregory pack on my back and an old north face jacket. I thanked her for her help and went away to contemplate the class divide. I came out below it that time.

The trip back was pleasurable too. I like the groundedness of traveling by train. I feel calm, and unafraid on a train. Flying, as I will be later today, is much more stressful. Part of it is all the security. And part of it is just being off the ground in a giant hunk of metal carrying tons of explosive fuel and dependent on electronic equipment for communication and navigation. No, the train feels civilized and reasonable to me.

I keep asking about sleeper trains, because if I could get a sleeper berth for a reasonable rate, I would certainly travel cross country via train. But apparently the prices are outrageous. I need to find out the specifics of the price. I have traveled up and down the country of Chile by overnight train, and it is a wonderful way to go. It cost about $30 each way, about 17 years ago.

Egad I'm getting old.

I notice that the book I am reading is influencing my writing. Normally I use only minimal descriptors, preferring nouns and verbs. But I am more tempted by adjectives and adverbs while reading this thick tome. I can't come close to the degree that Taylor Caldwell uses descriptors--her sentences are wallowing in them. But a few more are sneaking in. I will experiment for a while with giving my sentences more color and texture. Gradually. It goes somewhat against the grain.
Tags: airports, oregon, public transportation, trains, transportation, travel, washington, writing
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