Rafael and company

young hadsome man with cracked face looks in mirror

Leaving my comfort zone is always a way to learn new things, be exposed to different ideas, and to remind myself that we are not all alike.  And that it’s ok that we aren’t.

On this trip, I started the day with “Rafael”, and ended the journey with “Rafael”, our Uber driver.  (The photo above is from another blog, and has nothing to do with the actual Rafael, even though the brooding mirror image gave me something to work with for illustrating this blog and his part in our journey).

During the trip, I met a bunch of people that got on my nerves (not a biggie, but part of leaving one’s comfort zone), and it reminded me of just how selfish we (and I) have become in the good old USA.  Trust me, we are sadly lacking in decorum and manners, and could do with more respect for others vs. always having to be “on” when in a group of strangers.  I came to see the world, and instead dealt with my own pettiness for lack of manners.

Chrissy, the dining room attendant, was so obnoxious that I sat on my complaint letter before sending it in this week.  Let’s just say that someone with a Bouncer’s view of life should NOT be in charge of something reputed to be a fine dining establishment.


This next one, Mr. Obnoxiously trendy skater boy, was determined to shock everyone and ruin the trip for all who encountered him (mostly families with kids and the elderly). He spent most of the first day drinking to excess, having sex with Ms. Traveling Alone (separate image, below).  How do I know this?  Because they both came out of the bathroom after 20 minutes together looking disheveled, pants unzipped and naughty bits dangerously close to being exposed.  Hmmm…











Then, we come to the girlfriend of the moment (I presume), Ms. Traveling Alone but-must-hook-up-with-a-guy (i.e., Skater Boy’s chick of the moment).


Not sure what else she had going for her, as she was way too busy being a groupie for Skater Boy, and I didn’t get any idea of who she was beyond being a convenient piece of sexual furniture who thought it very daring to be obnoxious in the Scenic Lounge (communal gathering area to enjoy the scenery), while determined to put on a show of her own.  Sad.

Next, it was Mrs. Finding-Myself-because-I’m-not-old-enough-to-be-stuck-staying-home.

Mrs. Finding Myself complained about her coach seat accommodations, then over dinner (no one was allowed to eat alone) reminded us all of how much money she and her husband had made in life, and then told stories of all the places she’d been on the cheap (why???? if you have so much money, why not enjoy it???).

The saddest part was how fancy free she was now that her son was grown and her husband was busy with his own life, and yet she seemed desperate for an audience to hear her tales of adventure.  I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be impressed, envious or her cheering section.

Mostly, I was just bemused that she was alone and working so hard to impress strangers telling stories of all the places she’d been and all of the things that she’d done and how wonderful it was to be all alone.  Always.

2012 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2












(Many of these folks in the images are famous – I took their pictures because they illustrated a moment and an impression of a person, and not because of any underlying comments about the artist portrayed in the images depicted).

One of the saddest moments came when an Onslow lookalike (from the PBS show, “Keeping Up Appearances”) had a medical issue and needed to be removed from the train on Friday afternoon.


He and his wife were enjoying a lovely trip through the countryside, and it appeared that he was not feeling well for most of Thursday.  Come mid-day on Friday, a crisis occurred, and he had to be taken off the train and sent by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

I’m thrilled that he was out and about and doing what he and she wished, despite any health issues, but sad that their trip ended in that way for them.

Anyway, the upshot of this story is that I’m glad I went and was away during some of the recent craziness.  Trust me – I can do crazy all by myself, without help.


2 thoughts on “Rafael and company

  1. Huh. Now this was about your recent train venture? Sad that some assholes always have to muck up what is otherwise a really great trip. I’m not shocked at Mr & Ms Skanky though. I met their doppelgangers (in attitude if not appearance) on a flight to California in 2016. They’ll learn soon enough that the world doesn’t give a sh*t about their freely sexual attitude, and that they only look desperate, needy and sad when they do things like that. Good on ya’ for keeping quiet if they were disturbing you though. Some of us wouldn’t have shut up and probably would have ruined the trip further by speaking out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, the snack bar manager, Martin, was a great cut up on the loudspeaker, and had a wonderful manner with the guests and the kids. He handled the profanity and sexual escapades couple very well, at first reminding them it was a family friendly train and profanity would not be tolerated, then by cutting off their access to alcohol, and finally telling them that they would be put off at the next stop, in the middle of nowhere.

    Once ro bar shut down (they were smashed by mid-afternoon), they weren’t happy, but he made it very clear that they were there on sufferance, and that being put off the train also meant no refunds or replacement tickets on a different train. Those combined threats worked wonders to get through to them. Yes !

    As for me, it was easy to move to the silence of our sleeper car and enjoy the scenery in peace vs. letting it ruin my trip.

    I was just surprised they’d even try on the obnoxious attitude in the first place, as the trains for cross country aren’t the same as taking the subway or light rail someplace. If you get put off the train in the boonies, you’re an idiot, and you’re going to cost yourself a bunch more dinero. The only one who suffers in that instance is the idiot causing the trouble – another reason to cheer when it might happen – and also to be thankful that it was much less security “theatre” than flying.

    Loved the trip despite my complaints.

    Liked by 1 person

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