Saturday, July 2, 2011

caltrain


Back before efficiency was invented, our Northern California forefathers tried to figure out a way to descend along the peninsula from paradise to the miserable pit of fog known as San Francisco. After a lot of thought and deliberation of convenient alternatives, they eventually decided on Caltrain; coincidentally, also the answer to the Jeopardy clue: "The second worst way to travel in the Bay Area".1

I kiiid, I kiiiid. Caltrain is awesome. Who doesn't like avoiding the pain and misery of driving in traffic? Instead of traveling the peninsula on a freeway clogged with cars traveling at an average speed of 50 MPH, you can sit in the relative comfort of a cloud of diesel fumes while traveling on the baby "bullet" at an average speed of...50 MPH.

If you're not sold by the speed, maybe the price will catch your eye. Instead of forking over $6.50 to terrorist causes via gas purchases for the truck you acquired, not realizing that you would be forced to drive roughly triple what you did when you owned a car that got about a zillion miles per gallon, you can fork over Caltrain fares of...$6.75.

Of course, your fare purchase doesn't go directly to the terrorists, it goes by way of the Clipper card, so named after the ships of yore that took approximately twelve minutes to be scanned by stone-age card readers,2 all while entitled cyclists created a giganto line fumbling for their ever-so-technological cards.3

But, having said all that,4 let me be serious for a moment and state that I do actually love Caltrain. I love it like I love the girl who rejected me that one time: sure, it hates and disappoints me, but I keep on coming back because it's beautiful, it moves with such grace, such fluidity, and maybe, just maybe this time I'll find her a changed woma...er, train.

1. Bart, Home of the Screaming Banshees™, naturally, being the first. And I realize I just authored a post using the term banshees. I'm sorry. I had a nightmare last night. And I really want to re-watch Darby O'Gill and the Little People. THE BANSHEEEEEEES!
2. Conveniently placed at locations along the platform that make it impossible to catch the train in a hurry, as you are forced to jog along the mile-long platform with your bike, your right leg wrapped in an orange nerd bracelet, helmet flapping on top, while the conductor smiles, chuckles, and closes the doors.
3. The Clipper Card. Motto: a lamer version of London's oyster card.
4. Awkwardly, I am currently writing this on the Caltrain platform, where moments ago some teenaged girl walked up, and, from five feet away, apparently threw her phone at my backpack on the ground. I don't even understand how that was possible.

9 comments:

Michemily said...

I have yet to ride Caltrain. Or even BART, for that matter. Lucky me. Or maybe unlucky me. I do know that every time I relied mainly on public transportation, my life was inundated with interesting stories . . .

Michemily said...

So I came back to see if anyone had responded to one of my comments only to discover that I seem to be the only recent comment-giver. I should either be really embarrassed or really proud of that--I haven't yet decided which.

Aroura said...

I guess you are just a glutton for punishment. If the train went faster for cheaper and welcomed you with open arms, would you still want to ride it?.... I just realized that may have come across a little dirtier than intended given that you compared the train to a woman. oops.

Aroura said...

The above comment, if you didn't get it, is an allusion to the song that embodies your dating perspective. :)

chris said...

michelle: naturally, it means you should be proud.

aroura: I feel stumped. love rollercoaster? obviously my music tastes need to progress past the seventies.

Aroura said...

Love Rollercoaster? Wow, I don't think I even know that song. No, the one with Bronson Pinchot singing "Buddy's Blue's"
This one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q11DWA1wSVo

The comment will make so much more sense now :)

chris said...

okay, that guy is awesome. I'm totally buying that vest.

Aroura said...

It will get you many many dates I'm sure :)

Sam said...

You leave my sweet, sweet Caltrain alone!