I finish at the lab after 12 hours, and jog to Queen’s Park Station. I have almost an hour to get to Downsview, which used to be enough time, but it seems like the ride is longer now. It’s probably the new trains taking longer to open and close their doors or something. The wait getting in to Downsview is worse than it used to be, for sure. But I digress. Standing in the tunnel, I start to smell smoke. And I think, “Damnit, I have never been at a stop where this happened before, and I hope I’m wrong about it happening here.” One of the new trains starts to pull in to the station, but just short of reaching the platform it stops. Then it shuts off its headlights. Then a few minutes later it backs up and they announce that train traffic has stopped in both directions at Queen’s Park.
I know this sometimes takes a half hour or more, so I decide to get to St. George, where they are turning back traffic, by another route. I head east on College, planning on catching the next streetcar. As I hear one approach, I start to run, and make it to the stop in time to watch him shut the doors behind the woman who got on ahead of me. The words cannot be part of my blog.
So I get to Bloor and they are still announcing the delay. I think I’m still ahead of the game. By the time the train is passing through Bay, they are announcing the delay is cleared. At St. George I catch a new train. Probably the same damn one.
So now I wait and see if I get to Downsview before 9:30. If I miss that bus I’m going to be so frustrated. I’ll report what happens.
Update: I made it.
At our lab this winter, we had a secret Santa draw. I got a pair of white mittens from a fellow grad student, along with chocolate and a selection of lip balms. I knew the young woman who bought me the gift had spent a good deal of time thinking about what to buy, but when I first opened it I didn’t get the significance of her choice. Then she reminded me of one day when she and I had walked to lunch that I had commented that I would like to have a pair of white gloves to wear on the subway to see how dirty the TTC really was. I love them and they’ve taught me something: the TTC handrails are not nearly as dirty as the TTC washrooms. I got the mittens December 16 and have been downtown using the bus and train at least a half-dozen times and they aren’t visibly black. I’m sure that won’t last long once all the people out on Holiday holidays are back filling up the rush hour buses and cars, but for now I’m impressed. If I can keep from dropping them in the mud or touching the side of the van with them, I’ll keep you posted as to their demise.