12 August 2008

august days :: twelve

I recently traveled with Amtrak, on the corridor between the bay area and Sacramento. Now, the train doesn't go up regularly to my town from Sacramento, but Amtrak does connect travelers in that direction with a bus. It was an easy, stress-free, and delightful journey. Yes, even the bus ride...although, I must say it was due in a large part on my ability to be one of the first passengers on that bus and immediately acquiring the front seat with a free view of the road ahead. You see, I have a sensitive inner ear and motions tend to upset that delicate balance between ear and eye. Now you know: I am not astronaut material. I can make myself car-sick driving on twisting roads. Yup. Sad, I know.

I got some knitting done on the train. This is a good thing since the holidays will be upon us soon and, of course, I am behind. I don't have a picture of my progress, though, because I had to frog it (no laughing DeeDee)--lace stitches can be so aggravating if one is not paying attention.

However, I couldn't just sit there, knitting away, without a conversation to go with it. I didn't have my iPod Touch with me. I had prepared a variety of listening pleasures for myself but left it at home. No, I don't want to talk about my "grey" moment of forgetfulness. I forgot to bring my phone too, but we won't talk about that either. There I was with no podcasts, no NPR, no music, no communication. The train was quite full and I found myself sitting next to another woman. I tried several times to strike up a conversation with her on a variety of subjects, without any success. A small smile and a slight acknowledgment of a few words do not make a thriving exchange. Tragic, really, because we could have solved world hunger or maybe at least discussed the menu choices at a restaurant, who knows. About fifteen minutes outside of Sacramento, my "seat mate" excused herself for the restroom and, well frankly she never returned. It was then that I realized "huh, maybe I am that odd person who talks to strangers." I didn't fair any better on the bus ride either.

When I mentioned this to my husband, his response was along the lines of "well you are known as being that crazy lady who talks to just about anyone." I think he pictures me in my old age sitting with a couple cats, mumbling to strangers on the street. My daughter says that I broke the golden rule of public transportation: one is not supposed to talk to another person--ever--no eye contact--no conversation. Hum. That's difficult for me. It's just not me.

Ensete ventricosa, or better known as Red Banana. This plant will not produce bananas since it is strictly speaking just an ornamental, but it is just gorgeous with its red edges. So luscious.


Bubblesknits said...

I'm a stranger talker, too. Hope you're feeling better! I've enjoyed all the pretty pictures. :-)

Knitting Nurd said...

LOL...well, I tried to stifle my laughter. It's nice to know I have company in the 'frogging' department. :=)

Sharon said...

I, for one, envy your ability to talk to strangers. I can't do it, myself. I am always stopped by the inner tapes: Oh, nobody wants to hear about THAT. Its a very lonely way to be. If not for the stranger-talkers, I would live in much smaller world.

Maybe thats why knitting groups are so great. We already know we have a common interest, and we really ARE fascinated with your current project, so its much more comfortable to talk away to people we may have just met. David Reidy podcasted about this a while ago.

brooklynx said...

Seriously though, unwritten but deeply observed rule of pretend-all-those-other-people-aren't-there on the El or the bus or whatnot. You know who breaks that rule? The crazy people asking for money or trying to convert you to their religion.

Did you ask her if she wanted to know the joys of knitting? Knitting is the one true way?

I love you, Mamasita. Even with your crazy chatty ways. I have to admit it's kind of fun to see people get that shocked look on their faces when you're all nice and friendly to them when they least expect it.