rarely does my beautiful, wonderful, and intelligent wife come home from work early. so when i heard the keys to the front door rattling and opening the door i was shocked and filled with joy. her coming home presents opportunities for me to do things i cannot do with kids around. if you are a parent with the ability to not care about what your kids are doing for 30 min to an hour at a time or interact with them only when something wrong happens then you have no idea what i am talking about. liz' presence gives me another set of eyes, yes, but it also gives me another set of arms to interact, ears to listen, feet to take them to the store, and a mouth to talk to them when they want to talk. usually my patience has run its course by the time she comes home...but that isn't what this blog is about.
she came home and i was thrilled with the amount of time i had to do whatever i wanted (she is gracious to give me freedom). i have recently made trips via the train to central station in downtown brussels by myself. there is a starbucks there, they offer wifi and i am able to people watch while thinking and strategizing about 9th hour projects and more. it really is my thinking spot. last night was that opportunity. except this time i was going to go over my notes for a worship seminar that i will be teaching this weekend in morocco (my first trip to the arabic world).
being in waterloo you will notice that the trains are good about getting you where you need to go but they are not as frequent or direct as they are from other bigger train stations going to brussels. so liz got home at 5 and the next train was at 5:57 to brussels. i rode my bike to the station and waited patiently for the train. :57 came and followed with an announcement that the train will be 14 minutes late. c'est pas grave, i can wait. the next train downtown was at 6:24, so surely it will leave before that one. well, the 14 minute delay came and went. what then proceeded to happen was, due to the fact that the delay ultimately was so close to the next train they (sncb) decided to just roll the two together. ok, fine, again, c'est pas grave, i can handle it. well, :24 came and went. around 6:30 the train shows up and i board a full train, not standing room only, but i had to share a bench with people kind of crowded, which in waterloo train language equals full.
yea!!! on the train, finally! well after about a 5 minute wait i begin to realize we are either waiting for a herd of cows to move or something. then the infamous, "attention, mesdames et messieurs..." which in english means something terrible will now proceed out of my mouth. the announcer says something about technical issues and please go to platform 1. everyone on the train, like a flock of sheep after the gate has been swung open, began walking disconcerted to platform 1. we waited...we waited longer, and then finally were told that a train will be arriving shortly on platform 2 (the platform we were just on) so we all walk back to the other side. IT CAME, HORRAY!!! we board and start our journey nearly an hour later then when i had arrived at the station. 2 stops into our trek to central the train stops moving in between scheduled stops. we wait, and wait some more. the announcer comes on and says there are some issues needing to be fixed.
at this point the time is 7:30 and it seems my productive evening has turned into a belgian nightmare. i can't understand french completely so my frustration can only match the expressions on peoples faces after they hear the news of what seems to be another train issue. they decided to send another train for us to board directly. we accomplish getting all passengers on board and our journey continues. i do finally arrive at central...at 9:25. TOTAL FAIL. the next train leaving central for home leaves at 9:42 and the next one after that doesn't leave until an hour later. so i got a gross hotdog, because i was hungry, and a coke and waited to board the train praying to god i would not encounter ANY. MORE. DELAYS.
i got NOTHING done and oh yeah it is freezing outside! (wtbb)
i still say, thank god for public transportation. it still is pretty cool.