Friday, January 05, 2007
Adventures on the CTA
1) Yesterday at about 5:30, I got on a mostly-empty car and took my usual sideways single seat at the back. A man sat a few seats away, between me and the doors, turned sideways to face me, and then STARED. I glanced at him and realized I was being train-stalked by a Creepy Guy, who continued to stare intently. We were alone on that end, but there were other people at the other end, so at the next stop I walked confidently to the other end and sat in front of some guy, with my back to Creepy Guy so he would not have the satisfaction of nervous looks from me. Before I got off the train later, though, I had phone and pepper spray at the ready, and waited on the platform to be sure he wasn't there.
2) This morning, my train stopped in a tunnel, the power went out, and we were left to wonder what was happening for at least five minutes. Then the operator came on and announced that there is a fire on the train, and started going on in great technical detail about it while annoyed commuters rolled their eyes and wished he would get to the bottom line already. Do we have to evacuate and sidle along the ledge in a dark, smoke-filled tunnel like others have had to do recently? Are we going to get to work anytime soon? After maybe 20 minutes total, the power came on and the train moved, with no further updates or apologies from the driver. According to both my labmate and my husband, the entire Blue Line stopped, and the CTA kept people at the stations apprised of the situation. Only the ones on the actual fiery train were kept in the dark.
The girl behind me used it to cover her lateness to work. She told her seatmate she was supposed to be at work by 9:30, but even if we'd been running express, there's no way she would have made it.