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Travel

The Karma Train

Our room at the San Diego Marquis and Marina faced the street instead of the ocean. While some people would be bummed, I was kind of thrilled. I love to watch the hustle and bustle of a city. I’m a big people watcher, as is FireDad. So we frequently found ourselves standing at the wall-sized window, watching the world below.

One point of interest was the constant to-and-fro of the trains. We constantly heard the ding-ding-ding-ding at the crossing as the local metro train was stopping and going and coming back and stopping again. It was in and out frequently and fast; a little red rabbit of a train. We also saw the Coaster train, hauling people up and down the — you got it — coast.

Every time a train would come through, traffic and pedestrians would get backed up crossing from the hotel side of the street which was backed up against the bay over to the downtown area which housed all of the food, entertainment and other stuff to do.

The real problem wasn’t the Coaster or the metro train. It was the big freight train. Twice we saw it actually stop as it was passing through our area, backing up traffic in a big way. One lady got out of her truck, parked right up against the tracks, to see if the train end was visible. It wasn’t. She talked to her neighbor’s vehicle. Some vehicles bailed, pulling u-turns in the middle of the street, probably knowing of an alternate route. Or hoping for one at least. One pedestrian, out for a morning run, didn’t want to stop moving. He did jumping jacks. He did lunges. He ran in place. He was twelve kinds of serious running business.

I laughed at all of these people.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

On Saturday evening, we had time before the official parties began, so Sassymonkey, the Fake Husband, FireDad and I decided to head out to dinner. Across the tracks. We ate well. As we walked back toward the tracks, we saw it. The freight train. Stopped. On the tracks.

It was at this point, we all realized that we consumed too much liquid with dinner and facilities would be needed in short order. Yep. Figures.

Eventually we figured out that the crossing up the road a little ways was clear, so we started up the sidewalk. We made light of the situation, talking about how the pause in the evening let us take nice couple pictures by the tracks. We were near the crossing when FireDad said to me, “Wouldn’t it be funny if the train started to move just before we got to the crossing?” And then we heard a hiss of the train’s brakes as it jerked into motion. The conductor blew the horn to alert people that he was finally moving. Various groups of people on their way to the crossing cussed. Loudly. I think all four of us said something inappropriate for my readers’ eyes.

I hate that FireDad. And the way he’s right so often.

So we stood at that crossing while the 14-mile freight train took it’s merry time. I mentioned my previous laughing at stranded pedestrians and our friends gave me the evil eye. Whoops?

Did I mention that this entire time — the waiting, the train moving, the more waiting — that the ding-ding-ding-ding of the crossing was a constant background noise. It is the theme of our evening. Ding-ding-ding-ding. Ding-ding-ding-ding. Cuss-cuss-cuss-cuss. Ding-ding-ding-ding.

Freaking Train

Lesson: Watch what you laugh at, because the karma train will show up when you have to pee.