Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Well, just trains actually)

This very moment I am blogging LIVE from the Downeastern Rail. Yes folks, I am on the train to Boston. FROM PORTLAND!

Now for all you non-Mainers reading, this might not sound like anything of interest, but for those of us locals, we know that not only is the train to Boston a recent amenity, but a less frequently used one. So why my sudden change from the beloved bus to the train?


Yes, friends, as I had hoped for, it's snowing (of course the weather gods finally listen to me the day I leave. THANKS A LOT). Snow means delays in bus times and significant increases in traffic. And I've got some SERIOUS NEW YEARS EVE PLANS to get to in the great city, resident home of my beloved Celtics, Red Sox, and just about all my closest friends from growing up in Maine. The Bean.

I wish I could take credit for this clever, weather-dodging idea, but alas, it was while I was standing in line for a bus ticket that some chill dude chatted up my brother and recommend I hop on the train--for just $3 more I could be in Boston with no weather delays--best part (for me), WIFI! Hook, line, and sinker.

I absolutely love travelling by train. It's one of the number one things I miss about Europe. When I lived in Switzerland it was how I traveled to and from school everyday, taking a 13 minute train from Nyon into Geneva and back. An entertaining moment would be regular announcements for the various stops, all of which were in three languages (because those Swiss are pretty much 900x smarter than everyone else) and every day upon approaching the city I would hear,

"Prochain arrêt, Genève
Nächster Halt, Genf.
Next stop, Geneva."

I wish I could do all the accents for each language announcement--the German one is hilarious because of how Genf was said, and the English was spoken with a flighty British accent.

When I was living in Paris, I stayed a month after I was done with school and traveled around with a Eurail pass for 5 weeks, mostly by myself, backpacking in France, Switzerland, and Italy. Man I would kill to go back to those easy days again. Traveling solo is the most liberating experience--especially when you have no rigid agenda, and only an interest to see the world. I used to spend hours on train rides writing--it's truly the most productive passive travel, I think, and a great way to see a beautiful landscape.

Speaking of seeing, it looks beautiful outside with this snow. Maybe I'll get lost in a daydream and stare at the window for a while.

Happy New Year!

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