Friday, June 8, 2007

Heading Home

I'm on layover in Winnipeg after my first assigned trip as Activity Coordinator. I think I prefer the more Soviet-sounding Coordinator of Activities... The title is something of a misnomer, as the bulk of my work consists of talking with passengers and providing them with information. Most people take the train to see and learn about the landscapes, not to play games.

I had a good bunch of passengers on the way to Winnipeg and my dome car wasn't too crowded. Ironically, May ("off-season") was very busy, whereas June (beginning of "peak season") is forecast to be pretty slow. Which is okay for me personally, but I sometimes worry about the future of our priceless, but unprofitable, passenger rail system.

Anyway, everyone seemed to have a good time and one passenger even gave me a plug on his blog! One thing about this job, you meet people from all over the world and a lot of them have led pretty interesting lives. I had a chat the other night with a woman about my age who's on her way, via St. Catharine's ON, to grad school in London, England. She used to study at UVic, where it turns out she was a student of Eric Miller's. She seemed relieved to meet someone younger (the demographic cohort of 1st Class train travellers tends to be 50-85) with an interest in books. Speaking of which, on the first night of the trip, I came across a co-worker, David Streit, tapping away on an old Smith Corona portable typewriter. Turns out he's a writer-type in Winnipeg, on the board of CV2. Very cool guy; we had some good chats on the way here and he bought a copy of my book. At one point, he said that sometimes he feels like "the only one" (i.e. writer on the crew); I know how he feels. But I kinda like it that way.

I'm reading a wonderfully strange long poem, The Mundiad, by an Aussie named Justin Clemens. Funny and bawdy. Very much in the style of Pope, highly allusive, but very contemporary, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh to be assigned. sittting on day seven here. found the gervais bits. then spent the day with larry david.

my girlfriend and kittens are getting suspicious.

call for coffee next winnipeg stint.