Day Twenty-Three

Today was honestly not a very eventful one. I woke up a little before 9:00 somewhere near Saskatoon to find that I was not, in fact, alone in my car after the stop in Edmonton. There were plenty of people, including a woman with a small dog and another woman with a screaming, crying baby.

I powered through a few more chapters of my book eagerly awaiting the call to lunch, which it turned out was actually the call for brunch and took much longer than I thought it would. I raced down to the dining car, excited to have a full meal, and was seated at a table with a Torbin and Elise, a nice older couple from Australia via Denmark and England, respectively. We had a very pleasant meal together before parting ways; they were headed back to their quiet sleeper, I was headed back to more infantile crying.

I continued to devour my book with the goal of having it finished so that I could swap it out for the sequel during our stop in Winnipeg. I reached that goal, then found myself bored out of my skull when we were more than two hours delayed in our arrival to Winnipeg.

When we finally pulled in, I surprised myself in thinking “home,” though I guess after four years here it is home, after a fashion. I watched the hazy glow of light against the clouds become Winnipeg and almost teared up a bit as the train went past a familiar stretch of Pembina Highway and Osborne Station. As much as I have enjoyed exploring new cities and places these last few weeks, it was really nice to see a place that I know, even if I was only here for a little more than an hour.

I set myself up in the station lobby to wait for Tino to come meet me. I was so excited to see a truly friendly face that I just about bowled him over when I saw him coming through the door. We didn’t have nearly as much time to catch up as I would have liked before I had to reboard the train, especially since Tino had to bus all the way to the station from the U of M to come see me. That’s real friendship right there, and I’m so lucky to have it in my life. What I would have loved would have been a nice in Winnipeg to crash in St. John’s and binge watch Breaking Bad with Tino, but for now I’ll tell myself I can have that in a few weeks when I come back for convocation. Even with so little time, we managed to tell each other a bit about what’s been happening in our lives these last few weeks, me with my trip and Tino with his new job as residence security and a little about his summer courses (good luck on that assignment, T).

I was sad to say goodbye when it was time to board up again, but was a little happier when I remembered that both dog and baby had gotten off the train, so my night is likely to be quiet. I got myself ready for bed, giving my hair a good spray of dry shampoo (whoever invented that glorious stuff could very well make a case for being the Second Coming amongst travelers with no access to showers who do not want to be total greaseballs).

Tomorrow is another long day of travel, but Tino was awesome enough to bring me the sequel to my book, so I’ll have a great way to while away the time. But for now, it’s time to settle in and try to get a second night of decent sleep on the train.

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