Urban Train Adventures #1

I promised my niece a visit and thought it would be fun to take the skytrain out to Surrey instead of Bella (my car)… an adventure!  I’ve been getting quite fascinated by trains lately and this would be a mini-trip on the urban rails.

Grill wrapped around the station

First I made some calculation mistakes and what should have taken 34 min, according to Translink, took over an hour. My next jaunt will be quicker, I actually do sometimes learn from my mistakes.

But while it shortened my visit with Des it was a grand adventure, not the least was the opportunity to see the Greater Vancouver area from a completely new perspective. And I have learned that new perspectives in anything can be of great value, even though it may take years to bear fruit. I have been a courier for 10 years in this town so the fact that I can see it from yet a new slant is startling. I have always loved exploring back lanes because they  have real personality of the neighbourhoods, not the mask of public persona.

Man with bike basking in the sun through grimy windows.

A fascinating vinette happened that I am still mulling over. It took a bit for me to pick up on the vib since there was very little verbal communication going on, but once I did I was riveted. A man, maybe in his late 30’s, who had had a bit of the liquid xmas cheer, reached across the wide space created by the doors to hand an elderly woman a crystal butterfly. When she had came onto the skytrain she was bent over and hobbled in on a walker hung with bags and sat in the seat across from me, one row up. She was dressed in the uniform of the poor in winter, layers and layers of misshapen dark garments. English was a second language and she seemed confused at the gesture, hell even us with English as a first language felt that. She was mesmerized by this beautiful glittering thing and kept turning it over and over with a smile that lit up her face that had been pained and tired minutes before. The people around us that were “in on it” were infected by the generosity of this deed and suddenly strangers were connected in such a lovely way. Meanwhile the man swayed in his seat, eyes glazed, seemed uncomfortable at the attention and just kept nodding and shrugging his shoulders as if to say, “It’s nothing, really, it’s nothing”. The elderly woman gestured and tried to ask if she could have the box to put it in but he seemed far away and just kept saying, “You’re welcome, you’re welcome…”.  So some how he and she did not connect but the rest of us did. At the next stop the 3 of us got out and he weaved away and she shuffled to the elevator and I stood waiting for the next train turning the experience over and over in my head with a smile on my face.

Skytrain Love

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