Thursday, August 10, 2017
In a dress again... day 6 finale.
Here's a selfie I retrieved from the camera, inside the Chicago Metropolitan lounge:
It was a long day of waiting in the Lounge for my evening train back to DC. Several women from the Capitol Ltd recognized me, so it wasn't a boring wait... I had a number of folks to talk with. Basically just girl talk. But it was fun.
Though it's a bit out of sequence, I'll add the following here:
I experienced one of the Chicago station's legendary problems: a panhandler, during a walk in the station itself (not the lounge.) This was when I was getting my lunch. He obviously thought "the lady" could be intimidated into giving him some "food money." (Yeah right - more likely some "drug money.")
My answer was "no," several times. He persisted in following, and trying. So just before hunting down a police officer, with the panhandler following close behind me, jabbering about my giving him some food money, I took a chance, turned around and used a loud, fully male voice (right in his face, of course), as well as male posture, to give him a not-so-gentle reminder that I couldn't be shaken down.
That astonished look he got on his face was priceless, and it apparently worked - he hastily retreated, skulking off toward a nearby station exit. I would have preferred to NOT go to that extent, but had to get rid of "my shadow." And those around me, to whom I obviously "outed" myself, got a chuckle out of it. Since I didn't know any of them and would never see them again, it was OK. It gave them a fun little dinner-time story to tell their family, about the "guy in a dress" getting one over on the panhandler.
Back to the proper sequence;
The Cardinal actually arrived in DC ahead of schedule, which gave me the opportunity to catch an early commuter train to BWI. That was an adventure in itself: riding an early rush-hour train with a thousand other passengers, doing it in a skirt (well, actually a skort), and hauling two suitcases....
I managed to get on board, and when looking for a place on the floor to stow my bags, a girl moved her two smaller bags into the luggage rack so I could park mine there. (Space was limited, commuter trains aren't blessed with storage space for heavy bags.) I thanked her profusely. I wonder if any of the men would have eventually gotten off their butts to help if I had tried lifted the bags (one 33 pounds and one 42 pounds) into the luggage rack? In reality, probably not.
Then, sans bags, I looked for a seat, and found none. A twenty-something girl actually got up and gave me her seat! None of the men did...which surprised me. Chivalry must be dead - at least among the male riders in that car. (Again, profuse thanks, girlfriend.) Turns out the girl was traveling with her friends who were stuck standing, thus she didn't really mind...while giving an elderly woman a place to sit.
It proves that there still are a few nice people around in DC, despite the political mess down there!
Last installment to follow...