Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 6: The trip back and the rowdies

We spent our last day in Jasper exploring some of the attractions frequented by local town folk. We rented skates and skated at the local ice rink. This is where we met some local high school students (on lunch break) who seemed to have nothing better to do than to make rude noises of flatulence in the public address system. This unfortunately made Erich very uncomfortable to the point of crying. Karen eventually gave them a piece of her mind, as I skated menacingly toward them (remember I have toe-picks on my skates!) and just as quickly as they had appeared, they fled. At last, we got some good quality skating time!

After lunch, we made our way back to the train station where Erich eagerly watched as the train readied itself for the journey home.

Once on the train, we were once again treated to beautiful views of the Rockies as the train weaved slowly along the tracks. At dinner time, we ate in the dining cart where we enjoyed a nice three course meal. (Erich's favourite course was the desert of course!) We also enjoyed chatting with some fellow travellers from Canada, the U.S., and Austria.

Then things began to get interesting. Being on a cross Canada train means you get to meet people from all over the country. Although there were many many nice people on the train, it's the obnoxious ones that we tend to remember unfortunately. Allow me to relate some examples:

  • One (who obviously had a bit too much to drink in Jasper) chatted angrily on the phone with his "buddy" (think: yo! whassup!) about how he had backstabbed him. He proceeded to pace up and down the car yelling obsenities until finally the attendants threatened to thrown him off at the next stop where police would be waiting.
  • Another talked about how he had just gotten a call from his parole officer. Boy! Just the kind of thing you want to hear as parents of a two year old... Actually he was mostly ok, except that he unilaterally served as alarm clock when he decided to make a 5am phone call. (I suppose the years of living in jail meant that you lose a sense of mutual politeness.)
  • One older fellow whom we had chatted with on the dining car also had a bit too much to drink and spent most of the night walking up and down the length of the train hitting on all the older women.
Despite the few obnoxious people, most others were very pleasant. I must say that all things considered, we really did have a very good ride back. At least we have good stories to tell! The attendants were extremely helpful, and it was comforting to see that they dealt with the rowdier people swiftly.

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