Brian & Ann's European Experience

Monday, January 24, 2005

Welcoming arms of NJ Transit

I am so goddamned happy I don’t have to take New Jersey transit any more.

I will never do it again in my life. Ever.

After a hectic entry into New York, brief stop by the office, then the hotel to check in and drop off my bag, I took a cab to Penn Station to catch a train to Princeton for dinner with my friends Ryan and Guze.

That’s when the trouble started.

See, yesterday New York, and the whole Northeast, was hit by a large snow storm. It wasn’t really a ‘blizzard’ in New York, but newspapers cannot be sold and TV stations will lose viewers if any amount of snowfall is NOT termed a ‘blizzard’, so I guess I am sitting in the middle of “the blizzard of ’05.” Keep in mind an entire 18 inches of snow fell.

First problem: the express train is cancelled. Sigh. Fine. It is a blizzard I guess.

Second problem: the people who run the trains are (still) idiots.

It takes half an hour to go about seven miles, which normally takes less than ten minutes. Then these idiots get on the intercom and start yelling at each other, “let’s go crew, close the end doors. Check your end doors, let’s lock ‘em up!”

Let me give the management of the NJ Transit some free advice: if you can’t do simple operational activities such as CLOSING THE DOORS, you are in deep shit.

Luckily for management however, the customers have no alternative. So, I, and about three hundred other packed-in, weary commutes sit in brown vinyl chairs and listen to conductors bicker and watch the scenery crawl by while contemplating how hard it would be to bomb the headquarters of New Jersey Transit.

Third problem: I am starving. I skipped the complimentary in-flight food service because I couldn’t tell the difference between the microwaved plastic wrapping and the (presumably) organic material contained within it. Now I am starting to regret that decision.

I’m sure dinner will be great (mmm, Masala Grill in Princeton, best Indian around) and it will be great to see my friends again, but it’s impossible to fully enjoy yourself when you know that, at some point, you are going to have to get back on the New Jersey Transit.

Like I said. Never again.

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