Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stuck on a Train

Sometimes I find my life laughable.  Random things always happen to me.  Super random things.  Once when I was 6 and had surgery for a rare chest deformity, another patients mom asked to see me and how I was healing.  My mom agreed so we walked in and it was Dana Plato who played  Kimberly on Different Strokes (remember that show? ).  Random right?  I thought it was cool at 6 though.

Last week my family was visiting and my parents were going to babysit the kids so my siblings and cousins could all meet up in the city to go out for the night.  We had looked forward to it all week.  Around 4:30 my sister, brother, and brother in law decided to take the 5:05 train into the city.  Curtis and I stayed behind to settle the kids and were going to take the 6:05 train.  Easy enough right?

Around 5:30 I get a text from my sis that their train is stuck and not moving.  They were still on Long Island but had no other info.  I looked up online and it said service had been suspended on the LIRR due to a lightening strike and signals not working.  Great.  Curtis and I decided to go to the train station and see what the deal was with our train and if it was delayed we would just walk back home.  When we arrived it said it was running on time so we decided to get on.  BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.  Now by on time I guess they meant that it picked us up on time.  That would be the end of the promptness of that train ride.

We slowly started making our way to each stop.  We had to stop for about 15 min at each one but overall we were making progress and feeling good.  I kept in touch with my sis who was just a few stops ahead of us with my brother and her husband.  About 2 hours into our ride, both of our trains were cleared to get into the Jamaica station in Queens.  From there we would have to get off and take a subway into Manhattan as Penn Station was also having major problems.  Still we were feeling pretty good.   My sister got off of their train about 8 or so (3 hours after they had left) and headed into the city.   Curtis and I planned to get off and just find out where they were and find them later.

Around 8:45 p.m. we were told they were having issues moving trains for us to get into the Jamaica station.  We were pretty close (maybe a few hundred yards) but stuck.   Then about 10 minutes later they told us that the rail had lost power and we would be evacuated.  WHAT?  I just started laughing hysterically because of course this random lightening strike train issue would happen to me. 

This is the pic Curt took of me at that point.

We ended up moving to the front of the train since that was where we figured they would evacuate from (we have no knowledge of train evacuation routes so we just guessed ).  This is when the train crazies came out!  One man had a Target bag full of his belongings and just started screaming "GET ME OFF THIS ***** TRAIN!".   Another woman started calling Eyewitness news (which I will get to later on).  All in all it was proving to be super entertaining in the front!  Then the conductor came over the loud speaker and said "PLEASE do not self-evacuate the train!".  Yes, people started prying the doors open and jumping out.  Super smart when there are live rails outside and its dark.  Yeah good idea.   So this is how we found out that 1.  there are undercover cops on trains and 2.  even if you are trapped in a train, the NYPD can get 10 officers into that train in like 5 minutes.   The people who jumped off were then brought into our train car.  The man with the plastic bag started demanding a police chopper come with a spotlight and light the way for us to walk out, the woman took pics and video and sent them to the news station, etc.  Such great people watching.  By 9:45 we still had no sign of evacuation and I was hungry.  Okay STARVING.  All of the sudden a sweet man behind me busted out a dozen Dunkin Donuts!!!  I think I ate my jelly donut in 3 bites.  I don't even like jelly donuts but I could have cared less at that point.

Around 10:15, four hours and ten minutes into our trip, we got power back and were cleared to get into the train station.  The issue was, there were no trains running back home so we were now stuck in Jamaica Queens.  It was a mad house!   Thousands of people trying to figure out how to get home, etc.  I called my dad and he and my uncle were going to try to find us and pick us up.  Let's just say that train station is not in the best part of town.  Around 11:30 we found my uncle and dad and headed home.  The rest of my family got stuck in Manhattan and had to stay in my cousins studio apartment.  Tight squeeze!

So here is more hilariousness.  Wanda, the woman who called Eyewitness News about 10 times, captured us in a picture.   You can't really see me well, but you can definitely make out Curtis.  Oh and listen to how Wanda describes our situation.  Honestly,  it was not that bad other than the lack of food. She made it seem like we were all close to death LOL.  Here is the link to the video:  TRAIN DISASTER

Needless to say we never got our night out in the city, but were in no way bored on the train!   Oh and when we got off there was not ONE employee from the LIRR to apologize, help you, etc.  Nice.

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