Tuesday, 31 May 2011


As a commuter you know summer has arrived by the various changes that occur. Whether is be the passengers or the train itself you can always tell when something changes.

My personal favourite is for me the first sign that warm weather is here to stay. Skirts and running shoes.  Practical really but not the greatest fashion statement. I wonder what Alexander McQueen would say?  I admit that I don't wear my heals while traveling (if I can help it), but I don't wear runners either. I find that a cute pair of flats does the trick nicely.

Next tell tale sign that warm weather is imminent is the temperature on the train.  For some reason the train is always cold. Well apart from the times when the A/C is broken and everyone starts stripping (trust me this isn't a good thing with commuters). For example this morning walking outside you can easily get away with a skirt and tee shirt without catching a chill. On the GO train, you for sure need a cardigan and you may even wish you had pants on (like I am a little). Why so darn cold GO Transit?


In other news there are a couple of passengers that have allowed the train to be privy to their goings on. He is a long haired, scruffy fellow. He travels with a long board and is obviously holding on desperately to his youth. She is a preppy, casual woman that you can tell enjoys a beer or two.  She's been married for 26 years and has an obvious attraction to him who is not her husband.

When the conversations started about a month ago they were innocent. Talk of the weather, plans for the weekend, the usual.

I typically tune them out but today their conversation has peeked my attention. Apparently she's leaving her hubby!  I hope it’s not for this schmuck, oy.  Oh man gotta love commuter gossip.

P.S.  As I finished writing this he and she began barking.  Yep, they're barking like dogs.  What the heck?  I guess it's truly a match made in heaven. 

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Tonight (Friday) I'm learning something new about myself.  I am not a fan of the Blue Jays. I'm not fan of Kid Rock. And I am also not a fan of commuting with those who are.

It's 10:43 pm and the train is packed. Normally a full train doesn't bother me but for some reason it is right now. I think it has something to do with the fact that these people aren't the types that I'm used to.

Hmm maybe that last statement sounds snotty. What I'm trying to say is that the folks that ride the train at this hour are not the businessman/business woman type. We have some Ginos and Ginas. Sports fans, well, Blue Jays fans at that. Older couples, younger couples, and of course, some rowdy teenagers.  It's a culmination of loud conversations and odd smells. Yep it smells in here. Cologne, hotdogs, beer and people's takings from their dinners out.  I'm not entirely blameless; I too have some leftovers from Jack Astor’s keeping me company.

Totally off topic but I would like to note that my dinner out was fantastic!  My cousins sure are a good time.  I heart.
Barefoot and all!


Fast forward to Saturday morning (and yes, I'm going to work on a Saturday. Boo to that.). 

Now this is a kind of commuting that I could get used to. There are only a handful of other passengers and I have a whole set of 4 seats to myself!

I don't have to share my arm rest with anyone, my purse has its own seat, and so do my feet.  Ahhh it’s so comfortable. I think I'm going to take this opportunity to have a nap and dream about how I can make all my commutes as enjoyable as this one. 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Is.It.Yours? Or.Is.It.Mine?

The armrest.  What a great little invention.  No matter where its located, couch, car, movie theater, public transit, it always seems to make you that little bit more comfortable. 

The question is, when there is only one armrest and 2 seats what is the proper etiquette?  Does it go to the person who was first sat down?  Does it go to the person who is larger in size?  Or does it go to whoever wins the elbow war?  Personally, I think that it should go to person who was simply using it first. 

If my way were the way of all other commuters, right now I would be watching 90210 on my laptop with my elbow comfortably resting on the little ledge in the middle.  Today, however, the unwritten rule believed by my armrest buddy is that he should get it by size default.  One bump of the elbow and off I was.  I hope he’s enjoying it while he plays his Metro Play games in comfort. 

I suppose it’s not all bad though because it’s given me not only something to write about, but also something to do that does not require an armrest (as I’m preparing my blog via Word while on the GO).

Not going to lie though, as you may have gathered already this type of situation erks me.  Yes, I’m smaller then this particular person.  Heck I’m smaller then most the people on here (given they’re mostly men).  That aside if you take in the other factors of my little scenario into consideration, what outcome would you come up with? 

Fact #1 - I was the first to sit down.
Fact #2 - I was using the armrest first (all set up and ready to watch some TV) and;
Fact #3 - I paid the same amount for my ticket that he did.  Shouldn’t I be entitled to the same amount of space?  (Perhaps that’s another story but I mean not only does he have the armrest but he’s also invading my little bubble.)  

Ok, ok, maybe I’m being a little over sensitive about it.  Maybe it’s because this is a day in day out battle?  I guess it just comes down to the day.  Sometimes I fight and sometimes I give in.  Today, I’m just choosing to complain about it.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I know Canada is a very diverse, multicultural country and that is one of the many things I love about it.  I mean if it wasn't I feel like I would be missing out on so much.  Food, people, traditions 
etc. they're all fantastic in their own way.  

So, in amongst all this multiculturalism do you ever feel like you the tune "one of these things just doesn't belong here" is playing in your head?  I know I sure have and this morning’s commute was one of those moments.

I may have been a little lethargic (it was the morning commute after all) but I really felt like an outsider.  Someone that was plucked out of my predominantly English speaking country and dropped right smack in the middle of another, and another, and then for good measure, one more.

I got on my usual car (as mentioned previously, I'm a creature of habit).  It was a little empty today but I thought nothing of it.  There were some familiar faces and there were some new ones. The first set I noticed was a couple of sisters.  Excited to see each other they discussed the goings on of their lives quite loudly.  Also on the train was another group of 4 that must meet up on the regular.  They chatted about this that and the other, but nothing out of the ordinary.  

At this point everyone is speaking English and loudly.  We pull into the next station and as you would expect, more passengers got on.  In particular a couple, as you also may expect, they were talk loudly.  The difference between them and the others was they were speaking either Mandarin or Cantonese.  For some unknown reason after the other chatty folks realised there was a competing language being used, they decided to change it up.

I felt like I was in a twilight zone (queue Twilight Zone - 2 Unlimited).  The sisters are now speaking to one another in Italian (I think) and the group of commuter buddies is now speaking an Eastern European language (I want to say Polish but I really don't have a clue).  That’s 3 conversations in 3 different languages and none of them are in English.  I feel a little left out.  

I guess what I can take from this experience is that I need to beef up my language abilities.  I have English down pat and a little bit of ASL but I should really work on expanding.  Anyone want to learn a new language with me?

Thursday, 19 May 2011


When riding the GO train one of the most common things you hear over the P.A is "stand clear of the doors". Pretty simple request really but you'd be surprised how many times this message needs to be repeated before it actually sinks in. 

Day in, day out, and at every stop along the way.  I've found that if it has to be repeated more than 3 times at any stop you can hear the request become a little less friendly.

Sometimes the conductor gets louder. As if yelling it into the P.A. is going to make people listen more.  Sometimes they just start repeating themselves over and over continuously until everyone has finally clued in. My personal fave is when it gets repeated by someone that sounds like their half asleep. Obviously bored at the fact that they've had to say the same 5 words incessantly.

What I wonder is, why the heck does it take people so long to get the message?  Is it just complete disregard for the conductor?  Or is it simply too early in the morning for passengers to compute  the message?  I mean come one folks. Stand clear of the doors so we can get this train to it's destination! 

Monday, 16 May 2011


Oh the conversations you hear when you're on the GO.

Today's afternoon commute was full of entertaining stories.  Stories smoking the herb and the subsequent mishaps. Here is a glimpse of the stories that have been privy to. First, I will introduce you to the narrators. Girl 1 I'll call Blondie (who has an affinity for petting her hair) and Girl 2 I will call Emo (pretty self explanatory, I guess).

As Blondie and Emo start their conversation it begins with the casual "hi, how are you" and a "what have you been up to". Then it quickly moves into stories of smoking reefers the previous night.

At first Emo is shocked the Blondie would partake in such extra curricular activities. Once she's over the initial shock they begin to compare notes.

Blondie starts telling a story about how she was toking with her ex last night. They "hot boxed" their car and then she got a call from mom and pop Blondie that it was time to come home for dinner.  She hopped out of the car she was in and got into her car, heading home for some grub (no doubt she enjoyed that meal). As she pulled out of the parking lot she noticed a cop behind her, following her nearly all the way home.  Queue paranoid driving.  I would not want to be in her shoes.  I probably would have pulled into another parking lot and started crying.  Too stressful for this goody-two-shoes girl.

Not to be outdone Emo decides to tell her, "I was smoking weed and then a cop came story".  Emo's story is kind of dull though so I'll just repeat it in point form;
- smoked up with a friend in a Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot
- cop pulls in and goes into said Shoppers
- friend got paranoid and decided to go into Shoppers so the cop wouldn't be suspicious of 2 girls sitting in the far end of a Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot

Oh and of course throughout both stories there were a lot of "like" and "hahaha my brain doesn't work" added in for an extra affect. Sounds like these ladies had a little smokie smokie before getting on the GO and unveiling their "when I was smoking weed" stories.

Try not to be jealous of me now but I got to listen to these and many other short stories for the whole ride. Oh to be under 21 again.

P.S. I know their under 21 because they were talking about how much the zero tolerance policy sucks even though they have their G's.  A whole other thrilling story.

Friday, 13 May 2011


Today my I intention was to write about the latest news on the missing wallet / GO train passes. Then when I was least expecting it, I was witness to something rather odd. 

I arrive at the station, as per usual, heading to the platform for my morning commute. I usually stop by the paper boxes and try to score myself a copy of 24 (I love their crosswords). This morning there we none left. - On a side note, I can never understand how 4 boxes filled with the same paper can be empty at 730 in the morning. I always wonder if it's the bus drivers taking copies for their passengers. Either way, it bugs me when there aren't any there to entertain me. - Anyway, there were none left today and as I turned from the paper boxes to head down into the tunnel, I heard someone talking on their phone. 

People talking on their cell phones is defiantly not odd but I always feel the need to glance over and see whose doing the talking. Today is no different.  I glance over and thats when I say to myself "one of these things just doesn't belong here". The gentleman on the phone has 2 cotton swabs up his nose. Umm ok dude. I know it's allergy season but don't you think that's taking it just a wee bit too far?  

Ok now that that story is out of the way I bring you the final update on the missing wallet front. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to see if I could get my monthly GO train pass replaced. I gather all my statements to prove I purchase them regularly. I wrote a letter telling them why I would like to have it replaced. And then they needed a copy of my license.  Thank goodness they accepted this silly paper one that I've been given temporarily. 

Once all that stuff was submitted it needed to be reviewed by the bosses. And I needed to wait for a response. Well I got my response, and yes, it was the answer I was hoping for. I'm getting a replacement monthly pass!!  Woot!  GO transit for today you are my hero.

In the end losing my wallet has sucked big time. Everything needed to be replaced and of course replacing things costs money. At least this time it did cost nearly $300. 

Once again ladies and gents, don't put anything on the roof of your car that you have any intention on keeping. You will drive away with it and it will be gone for good. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


So today the lost wallet saga continues.  This time it actually pertains to what life is like, on the GO.  

Along with all my identification, bank, credit and points cards, my wallet also included my monthly GO train pass.  What does one of the beauties cost me every month?  267 bones.  That's right folks, I, along with everyone else, pays this crazy amount every month for the luxury of commuting via GO transit.  So when you lose your wallet that contains your train pass on the 9th day into the month, all you can do is curse yourself.  

There are 2 options, 1) buy a new monthly pass or 2) buy 10 ride passes.  Both options kind of suck and one isn't really any better then the other.  I think I'm just going to create my own 3rd option (thanks to the ideas of a co-worker and a GO worker).  I'm going to collect my Visa statements and highlight the monthly passes that I buy every month.  Then I'm going to ask their customer service reps to issue me a new pass.  What do you think my chances are?  I'm hoping they're pretty good.  But if not, at least I'll know I tried.  Then if I have buy a new monthly pass, I will shed a tear that losing my wallet has now cost me $277 ($10 to replace my drivers licence).  Dang it!  Even writing down what this could potentially end up costing me kind of makes me want to cry. :-(

Now for the next bit of my story.  Without a monthly pass I needed to purchase a train ticket (I decided to go with a day pass today, just incase by a stroke of luck, my wallet was returned).  

I get to the counter, order my ticket, and then try and pay using my new debit card.  I say try because I was not successful.  For some reason my new debit card decided that today, after working yesterday, it would become a dud.  How embarrassing?!  I showed the attendant my sad, empty wallet and explained that I had my wallet "stolen".  I was too embarrassed to admit it was really my fault my wallet was gone.  The attendant had pity on me (thank goodness) and printed me a ticket.  She handed it to me with an IOU envelope.  Thank you Sue!  You and your pity were much appreciated today!

Oh and have no fear.  The first thing I did when I got off the train back at home was, return the IOU envelope complete with the funds to the ticket counter.  I hope karma sends some good luck in Sue's direction! 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


We interrupt you're regularly scheduled GO train stories to bring you another story.  It has nothing to do with the GO train, but still blog worthy.

As many of you know there was a red alert yesterday about gas prices going way up overnight.  Me, having less then a quarter of a tank left, headed the advice I got from FB friends, parents and the news man.  I went and got me some gas.

I'm sure you can imagine what the station was like when I pulled up.  Well it was probably worse then what you're imagining now.  So I decided that I wasn't going to wait at the first gas station because it was just too chaotic for me.  Off I went down the street to the next station.  Ahh, this is better.  I only have to wait for one car here.  I wait, I pull up to the pump and I get out, wallet in hand.  

I've decided that I'm going to pay at the pump.  More and more people are lining up, so I'm trying to be courteous and be a as quick as possible.  I pull out my Visa, punch in my details, and wait for the authorizing to complete.  Here is where I make mistake #1.  I put my Visa back in my wallet and then I put my wallet on the roof of my car.  Bad, bad, idea.  Authorizing is complete and it's time to pump my gas.  I pump, and I pump until the car will accept no more.  

Just to give you some insight has to how I'm feeling at that moment.  I'm feeling a little rushed and I'm getting anxious.  There are now cars everywhere.  One in front and one in behind.  How am I going to make it out of here without bumping into someone.  And here is where I make mistake #2.  In my anxious state, I hop in my car, start it up and make my way out of the station.  I'm hoping that I don't hit Mr. Beemer's car on my way out.  It's a tight squeeze (thanks for the room dink) but I make it.

Woo hoo!  I'm away from the pumps and ready to make my exit.  Only one more turn and I can relax.  I step on it.  Maybe a little too fast, but hey, I'm on edge here people.  5 mins later, I'm home and I've calmed down.  I'm pleased with myself for getting gas before I got whipped by the price hike.  Take that, gas prices. 

Now here comes the extra cumby part of the story.  I wake up this morning with not a care in the world.  I go about my normal routine, (which includes wishing I didn't have to go to work) and then as I'm about to head out the door, I see it.  Or rather, I don't see it.  And as soon as I see my purse empty as can be, I know exactly what I did.  Dang it!  I left my wallet on the roof of my car!

I called the gas station, no wallet.  I drove to the station and did a search of my own, no wallet.  I did the drive again with my hubby, still no wallet.  Today is not my lucky day.  In the end there is a lesson to be learned and there is a silver lining.  LESSON:  If you like something, and want to keep it.  Don't put it on your car roof.  You WILL drive away with it still on your roof.  SILVER LINING:  It only cost $10 to have my ID replaced AND I now get to go out and buy a new wallet.  Oh and of course a matching purse to go with! 

Friday, 6 May 2011


I'm sure you've noticed, when riding any mode of public transit, that all passenger seats are the same size. Sure on planes and some trains you can upgrade to a more spacious seat, and there are always some seats that are smaller, but in general they're uniform. What I'm wondering is why are the seats one size fits all when the people that use them every day clearly are not.

I would say that I'm an average size girl, but I have a large personal space bubble.  I don't enjoy sharing leg room with the person sat across from me, nor do I enjoy sharing an arm rest with the person sat next to me.  These are things I've gotten used to doing daily all for love of the daily commute. Scratch that. All for the love of not having to drive into work!

There are some days that my bubble is put to the test. I mean I've gotten used to sharing and all but there are days other commuters really push the boundaries.  And I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

For example, on this mornings commute a rather tall fellow sat across from me. His legs were so long, I feel like his pants would have had to been custom made. He would put a daddy long leg to shame.  Anyway, when he sat down, first thing he did was step on my foot. Then as he apologized for that he stood on the other foot.  I started to get annoyed but then I started to feel bad for him.  I mean I wonder how many peoples feet he steps on in a week because there is simply not enough leg room for him.  I decided to be a nice quad mate and tuck my feet under my seat so he can sit comfortably with his legs stretched out a little. He smiled as his way of saying thanks.  And I felt good about my decision to share.

That was a scenario that didn't cause too much aggravation but believe me there are other bubble busters that are hard to deal with for the entire train ride. Like, the passenger who is above average in size and decides to squish in between the window and the person sitting in the isle. I've been there and see the looks. It makes everyone in the quad a little uncomfortable.  Then there is the passenger who enjoys reading the paper full sized and wide open.  You know the one. They hold they're arms up nice and high and nice and wide.  I've been so close to their fists, at times, that I've worried about getting hit if the train gets really bumpy.  Last but not least, are the baggage carriers. I'll be honest I've done my fair share of bringing way too much with me on the train. And trust me, I see the looks I get.  It's sad to say but I give the looks too when I trip over someone's bag in the isle, or when it's hogging up all the leg room.

I guess there's no real point to this story just a simple gripe about the make up of public transit vehicles. I mean people come in all different shapes and sizes. They all have different ways of commuting to and fro. So why is it that the seating doesn't accommodate at least some of these differences.

Lesson the be learned; be cautions of your surroundings during your daily commute. Ask yourself "am I popping someone's personal bubble?"

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Today's GO train story is one I encountered when I arrived at work.  Nothing exciting on my end today, but for a co-worker and fellow GO commuter, her morning was anything but ordinary.
If you're a commuter that uses public transit, you will be able to relate to this story.  Ever been on a train, a bus, or a subway and thought to yourself "this is a great time to catch some extra shut eye"?  I know I sure have and so has my co-worker.

Typically when you fall asleep on the train you're really only half asleep.  Waking up at every stop to make sure you don't miss yours.  Sometimes though when you stay up extra late the night before, or wake up through-out the night because your partner is hogging all the blankets, you're so tired that you fall asleep....a deep sleep.  This morning was that kind of morning for my co-worker. 

She hopped on her typical train, fell right to sleep, and stayed sleeping all the way to Union Station.  You would think that the customer service rep hollering out over the loud P.A. would wake her up.  Not this time.  She must have been practically comatose.  So, as she sits there in a deep sleep, it's clear that she is not about to wake up and depart the train.  All the other passengers are rushing to depart the train and make the rest of their journey to work.  No doubt they're noticing the cute girl sleeping through it all.  But do any of them do the courteous thing and wake her?  Nope.  They just leave her there to catch some more zzzz.

Everyone else has now got off and made their way into the station.  The doors to the empty train close and then, she wakes.  Hello?  Hello?  Is anybody there?  In a panic, noticing she's at her stop and can no longer get off, she presses the emergency alarm.  Beep.  Beep.  Passenger assist alarm in coach 3-3-3-0 can be heard over the loud speaker.  Finally, the doors open and she is able to disembark.  Is she embarrassed?  No.  Is she laughing at herself?  For sure. 
Moral of the story is, make sure you set your alarm if you're going to sleep on your commute.  And for those who notice another passenger sleeping through they're stop, please do the right thing and wake them up.  Karma will get cha if you don't!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


This morning was interesting.  Nothing like a bunch of commuters in disarray and confusion, bright and early in the morning. 

You see, like myself, people have routines. We take a specific train 90% of the time so we know where to herd ourselves to board the train.  We can do this without having to even think about it. Then there are days like today when, for one reason or another, the train is scheduled to come in on a different track. 

The station attendants make their announcements, but are people awake enough to comprehend?  The signs in the tunnel have been changed, but who really notices those?  Generally what happens is a select few people will hear the announcement or read the sign and then the rest of the commuters will follow in a zombie like state. 

Today was much the same but a little different too. As the trains pulled in someone panicked and thought they were on the wrong platform. Down the stairs into the tunnel they ran. Zombies following suit. And for those in the tunnel below the tracks, it is up to us to decide which set of stairs lead to the correct platform.  

I hear the train pull in and quickly make my decision. With people running up and down the stairways to each platform this was a challenging decision.  I go with my gut (and my gut tells me to read the sign, lol) and off up the stairs I go. I get to the top an there's my train, ready and waiting to take me to work. 

On the train, I am still boggled.  Why were there so many people still running down the stairs while I nudged my way up?  Pity the fool that misses their train because they can't decide which platform has the pot of gold aka GO train. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Nothing exciting for today, I'm afraid.  

There was one thing, however, that prompted me to post anything at all.  To the lady coughing like she had tuberculosis, please cover your mouth while you choke up a lung.  

The moral of this thought is, be kind to you fellow commuters and cover up your cough. :-)

For further entertainment here is a copy of tonight's T.O.night Daily.  Enjoy!

Monday, 2 May 2011


Today's morning commute allowed me to witness the use of a handkerchief. I'm sure you've seen it too at one time or another, but usually its used by a grandpa. Today, the user is a middle aged man. I'm hoping that the use of the hanky wont become a new trend among a younger generation.

Anyway, Im sitting here as he blows his nose into the hanky, not once, or twice, but several times. Gross. He's just piling up the boogies and putting it back in his pocket. Double gross. What I'm left wondering now is who does the laundry in that household?  Meaning who gets the joy of washing the snot rag?  My stomach it turning just thinking about it.

At this point I think it's safe to say, there will be no handkerchief use in my household. I don't like the idea of reusing something I've just blown my nose on.  Nor do I want to wash my clothes knowing the my boogers are in the mix. Ew

Kleenx 4 Life!

Sunday, 1 May 2011


Commuter [kəˈmjuːtə]
a) a person who travels for work over an appreciable distance , usually from the suburbs to the centre of a city.

I'm a commuter.  How thrilling right?  I get to wake up extra early every morning and come home extra late every night (thanks to my 2 hour daily train ride), all for the love of my job.  

So for those of you that don't commute, have you ever thought to yourself "I wonder what life is like for a commuter"?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  Never the less, I've decided to share my experiences of daily commuting life.  The good, the bad, and the just plain weird.  I see it all and I see it on the daily.

Since it's Sunday today there are no new and exciting stories to share.  Have no fear, I have a few stories that will be forever etched in my mind.  If you're on my facebook you'll probably remember a few of these gems.  Today I'm going to start with one that is from my more recent memory bank.


Heading into work, it's not unusual to see women applying their faces for the day.  I'll admit, I do it too.  Such an efficient use of time.  Anyway, I'm sat across from a women that has her makeup bag on her lap and is applying it while making little jokes with her boyfriend sitting next to her.  Nothing particularly out of the ordinary until I see it.  Now you're asking yourself, "what is it?".  Its a spoon!  First I'm thinking, who has a spoon in their make up bag?  Then I think, what is she going to do with it?  It doesn't take long before she is using her spoon for its new use.  An eyelash curler.  She brings spoon to eye and presses her lashes up over the convex back.  Weird.  Does that really work?  I stopped watching, this is just too much for my brain to take on in the morning.

Our train pulls into the station and I depart ready to start my day.  First thing on my list of things to do, gossip with the girls.  Second thing on my list, try and curl my lashes with a spoon.

And there my friends you have a glimps into what it's like to be a Girl.on.the.Go.  Stay tuned for more exciting, even if pointless, stories to come.