Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Conspicuous Consumption in Action

I am posting this from a train.

My employer is sending me down to help with our annual conference in southern Ontario, and I decided to take the train down first class, which is a much more pleasant (if longer) trip than a 70-minute up-down flight in cattle class, plus all the associated probing of cavities and containers (which I'll experience for the way home).

The last time I took the train I was literally too young to remember. It's quite the pleasant experience, and far, far simpler than any plane ride I've ever been on. I haven't done much traveling within Canada, so it was nice to walk around downtown Toronto for an hour (albeit with my bags). Much more vibrant than Ottawa, with plenty of pedestrians, although I don't know if that's just because of the hockey game that was an hour away from starting. The multicolour lights on the CN tower does a good job of hiding its ugly.

I could only see two types of people on the street: rich-looking metropolitans walking places who didn't make eye contact, and panhandlers who quietly sat and asked for change. I literally saw nothing in between. I held a door open for one man, and he was absolutely shocked (but he did thank me!).

I'm on the second (and last) leg of my trip, right now, and it looks like the internet connection is stable enough on this train to warrant spending the ten bucks for the internet connection. I mean, work is paying for the whole trip, so I can splurge a bit on my own expenses, right?

- RG>

1 comment:

jason said...

Two tips for the next time you take the train through Toronto:

1) you can leave your bags at the luggage counter near the departure area for a nominal fee;

2) Urbane Cyclist is within easy reach of Union Station if you take the subway up a few stops.