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14 December 2009 / April


How’s it going.

Here are a few things. They are numbered.

1. Last week decided to kill me. (Yeah, you read that right. The week itself decided to kill me.) Its killer strategy was as follows: Make me sick. Give me lots of work. And do this during the end of the semester, right as classes are cramming in crucial last-minute lectures on minimum spanning trees and right before finals happen and final papers are due and when I’m already burned out and all I want is a new semester, preferably one that’s a month long and in which I only have to take one class.

This is how I ended up doing things like watching the OC instead of going to class and staying up till 4 AM doing math homework and not even finishing it. Because the most salient symptom of my illness, besides sneezing, was being too tired to do anything intellectual but not quite tired enough to sleep (although naps are good). Hey, maybe my illness is actually just called Being a College Student.

On a related note, WASN’T I JUST SICK A MONTH AGO?

2. We just hit Syracuse and about half the train got off. Result: I have a pair of seats to myself now!

3. Did I mention I’m on a train?

4. Did I mention I’m on a train because I went to Cleveland to see my sister’s recital? This is a train that left Cleveland at 5:20 AM and will reach Albany at 2:40 PM. That is a long train ride, but at least it’s better than the one I took to Cleveland, which left at 7:05 PM on Saturday and arrived 3:30 AM on Sunday. That was a sucky train ride.

I swear, someday I will have a normal travel schedule, when I don’t accidentally end up in New York City or spend hours in the Pittsfield bus station—which I’ve had to do TWICE. And let me tell you, the Pittsfield bus station is not that interesting. The Pittsfield bus station is boring as hell, in fact. There are many places in which I’d be happy to spend hours on end. The Pittsfield bus station is not one of them.

This time, besides the insanity of the hours of my trains, the discomfort of traveling while still sick (having to ask stupid questions sucks; having to ask stupid questions when you don’t have a voice sucks more), and the idiocy of leaving Williams the weekend before finals—besides all that, the crazy moment of this trip was arriving in Albany and realizing the Greyhound bus station and Amtrak train station aren’t the same thing. In fact, the Amtrak station isn’t even in Albany. It’s across the river in Rensselaer. And there wasn’t a city bus that could get me there in time for my train.

I went up to the info desk and, trying to seem as normal as possible given the nature of the question I was about to ask, asked the lady whether I could walk to the Amtrak station. “I don’t think so,” she said skeptically. “You’d have to walk across on the highway. You could call a cab.”

But I don’t call cabs. I walk places. Or I walk places and then take buses. Which, despite my total lack of knowledge about the streets of Albany, was exactly what I determined to do. I went out to the street and a taxi honked its horn, but I strode forth as though I knew exactly where I was going. Because I did. Or rather, my iPhone did. Same thing, right?

Anyway, long story short, I ended up at a bus stop with an extremely talkative old man (he was saying something about politics or the mafia in New Jersey, I don’t know I wasn’t really paying attention), and then I ended up at the train station. And the rest, as they say, is history.

5. Dear Amtrak: Get wi-fi. Love, April.

PS. Amy’s recital?  And caramel apple cheesecake?  Totally worth the trouble.


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