Ken and I both work in the city and have been travelling together on the train for the last three plus years. We've stood on the same platform together every morning, held hands as we boarded the train, sometimes pushed our way through the rush hour crowds and kept each other company when there were train cancellations, delays and other problems. We would ring each other up and discuss the best plan when trains were re-routed at times.
"Catch the next train to Richmond, it's in 2 minutes!"
"There's a 3 hour wait for replacement buses, meet me at Box Hill for dinner. I'll wait for you on the platform"
We would look out for each other on the train. Ken always made sure I was comfortable on the train and if we didn't get a seat, that I had a handle to hold on to. When I became pregnant, he'd scout for seats with an eagle's eye. I, on the other hand, would make sure Ken didn't dose off on someone else's shoulder as the train ride would often rock him to sleep like a baby.
Sometimes we would sit together but at other times we were separated. Nevertheless, we always made sure we said goodbye to each other as one person arrived at his/her destination. Sometimes the train would be so packed we couldn't see each other but Ken would always look through the window and give me a wave and the sweetest smile you'd ever get :)
This morning, Ken went back to work...by himself.
This will be our routine for this whole year whilst I play mummy and housewife.
Today I said everything to Ken in one long sentence as I would normally say to him over the whole train ride..
"Try not to fall asleep or get a window seat so you can lean your head on it"
"Have a good day at work, darl"
"See you later"
"Enjoy your day"
"Call me when you want me to pick you up"
I must admit that it can be quite awful catching the train to and from work everyday. It's crowded, cramped, sometimes too hot and wet with dripping umbrellas when it rains. People can be cranky, loud, rough and inconsiderate. The working crowd is always in a hurry, running down escalators so make sure you don't get in their way. You have to plan what and how to bring your things with you on the train. You have to have a small to medium sized handbag. If you have a very wet lunch like rice with sauce, you have to make sure it's in a flat surfaced bag so it doesn't spill. If you don't get a seat, you only have one hand to hold the handle bar and the other to hold your things. If the floor is wet, you can't put your stuff on the floor and if you handbag is too big, it would hit the person's face sitting near you. If it rains, what do you do with your wet umbrella? You have to travel light and travel smart.
I will definitely not not not miss catching the train for the year.
However, I will sure miss hanging out with my man on the train and all those precious, funny moments and conversations I would have with him :)
Ken, you are a brave brave man and I will be joining you again soon on our 7.38am city loop train!