Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Adventure of the Runaway GO Train

Since parents are away on vaykay right now, the rest of the family is currently feeling sorry for me. Why, I’m not too sure as I only just got back to working after being off for 8 months, 4 of which were spent gallivanting around the world! Still, sympathy is good when it includes invites to BBQ dinners! Sure beats the sandwich I’d have made for myself!

Yesterday, at 5:15 as I’m almost out the door, my VP decides to strike up a conversation about how she feels that I’m a great fit, how much she loves me yada yada….. Normally I would LOVE to stick around for a conversation that revolves around how wonderful I am, but I’d planned to meet Ann at Union station for 5:25 pm to catch the 5:33 home – and she didn’t look like she was going to end soon. I finally manage to escape and stumble into Union only to find the 5:33 pulling out!


Lined up to purchase a ticket. It’s the start of the month, so every other GO commuter is also in line to buy/extend passes etc. The next train is at 5:53. Get ticket, run to platform get on train, collapse into seat. Announcement – “This is an Express train”. Jump out of seat and run towards doors. Doors close as I approach.

Damn. Damn. Double Damn.

Much perturbed now, as my ticket is valid only until the last stop in Toronto, and the train’s first stop is Pickering – outside that fare zone. Getting caught would mean an instant fine of $200!!

OH Damn.

Fellow passengers are all making socially appropriate sympathetic noises and bestowing pitying looks towards me. I settled into my seat knowing that there’s nothing I can do now. A few minutes later, nice, kind (and cute) guy leans over and tells me that there’s a train Toronto bound leaving Pickering at 6:25, so if I run I might just make it.

Feeling slightly better now, I make myself more comfortable and keep reading.

Announcement – “Arriving at Pickering”

I stand at the doorway ready to fly toward the other platform. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see the guard heading towards the compartment. He’s at the connecting doors and will soon be at the door to check tickets.


A fellow passenger sees what I see. Out of the corner of her mouth she mumbles “Go to the other door”. As nonchalantly as I can manage I move through the carriage towards the other doors. My heart is pounding so loud that I’m sure the guard can hear me and any minute he will call out “You…. STOP!”

I get to the other doors and wait. It’s just about 30 seconds till the doors open, but it feels like an eternity. As the doors open and I’m about to step out, I glance over and see that the guard is standing where I was before. If I had stayed put, he would have caught me!

I’m out of the train, but not out of danger – yet.

I run full speed towards the other platform and hop onto the train with mere seconds to spare. The train going into Toronto is empty so if there’s a ticket collector here, I have no chance of escape. For the 7 minute ride between Pickering and Rouge Hill, I sit at the edge of my seat gripping my bag. I’ve given up trying to look calm and collected. All I can think of is getting OFF the damn train and onto safe, neutral, unregulated ground!

And finally I’m at Rouge Hill. Just 20 minutes later than I should have been and only slightly worse the wear from my adventure.

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