An old hobo schooled me on the train platform today

This morning, I ran for the one entrance on the train car that takes me to the seats where you can sit facing forward, because I don’t like swaying side to side or riding backward. As I ran up the the opening doors, I saw an old hobo who had apparently been standing there before I got there. I nodded to him and gestured for him to go first. He said, “No, you go ahead.” I said, “No, that’s okay.” Then he said, “You go first. You’re a working man. You get priority.” I wondered how long we would play this “After you,” “No, after you” game and if we would miss the train, so I just said, “Okay, but it’s fine, really,” and got on the train.

I wondered about what he had said. There was a little part of me that felt proud to be a working man and sorry that he seemed to be a homeless drunkard. But another part of me felt that the old man had sensed my impatience and was being a better man than I. It made me think about class, manners, and respect for the elderly— even if the elderly person in question looks drunk and smells bad. I mean, it wouldn’t have hurt me to insist that he go first. It wouldn’t have hurt me not to run up to the train car doors like it was so important that I board right then and there. There are moments when “working man” is just another term for an immature moneymaker who’s rushing around like his life is more important than everything else around him. I don’t want to be that guy. And that’s what they old hobo taught me today on the train platform.

Biker Boy on the Metro



Biker Boy on the Metro
Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene

It’s funny to me how casual people are getting with bikes on the light rail. Yesterday morning, I saw an old man ride his bike right onto the train and stand in the aisle straddling it. This morning, I saw this boy ride his bike onto the train and just sit on it the whole ride and simply peddle off the train at his destination!

I should point out that in each case, there were spaces to hang bikes and places to sit. These guys, both young and old, were just doing their own thing. This randomness and variety provide some of the people-watching pleasure that makes riding light rail so interesting.

Metro Morning Reflections



Metro Morning Reflections
Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene

The stations on the Valley Metro Light Rail alignment offer endless opportunities for reflection and photography. This morning, I got this photograph by stabilizing my G1 cameraphone against one of the I beams that suspend the sails, lights, text displays, PA speakers, security cameras, etc. And what I got was the beautiful reflections in the high gloss paint on the I beam!

Here’s my ride!



Here’s my ride!
Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene

Well, I decided to go for it and buy a 31-day pass to ride the Metro to work. I’m just going to hope the trains get less crowded. They’re fine in the morning; it’s the afternoon I worry about. But I trust that Valley Metro wants to keep its Light Rail passengers happy and run more trains.

I took this long exposure with my G1 cameraphone. I stabilized my arm on one of the posts at the station. I must say I’m happy with the light streaks and the reflections of the station in the train windows!