Mr. Conductor

Since Kelli has been up in Burjasott in IMED hospital, I have become a regular commuter on the train that leaves a couple of blocks from our house and drops me off a few blocks from the hospital.  Sure, I could drive but its .74€ to go one way and I don’t have to worry about parking. Its just easier.

When I commuted to work from Bellevue to downtown Seattle decades ago it was the last time I regularly took public transit on a daily basis. I got to know the drivers and other commuters. After awhile you get the timing down. And the drivers will wait for you if you’re running for the door because they see you every day and they know you.

Hopefully I won’t be commuting to the hospital for weeks because that will mean Kelli is still in the hospital. After the first two nights of me sleeping on the couch in her room we decided I would go home at night to sleep in a real bed. Kelli insisted that one of us should avoid being disturbed by all the nocturnal poking and prodding she has to endure every two hours.

Now twice a day I take the train out to see her and I’m starting to get the train thing down.

Holiday trains don’t run that often. If one comes you need to be at the station. Except after running for the train at Empalme (a station near the hospital) I learned that stop is where they clean and disinfect the compartment for the drivers on this line, every time. So if you’re walking to the station and you’re still three blocks away when you see the train coming you don’t have to run. It will sit in the station for 5 minutes. And not just to be cleaned. This is the office where drivers swap out for their breaks and to refill their coffee.

There are also massive security contingents out here now. The number 4 line is the same one we were on when we were surrounded by hooligans almost 2 years ago. Seems we weren’t the only people who might have had trouble past Burjasott. So now the Empalme station is lit up like a Christmas tree at noon. And full of security.

We hadn’t gone this way on the train in a very long time. So I forgot our train station near our house has two different trains. 4 or 6. When you’re tired, if you get on the #6 it will take you somewhere that is not Burjasott.

Going home its best to get off 3 stops before ours and walk because the train takes so much time going into a big long siding (yeah, I’m using Thomas the Tank Engine vernacular) it can take 10 minutes longer than if you just walk that bit.

It’s also inevitable that no matter when I leave our apartment I will miss the first train. I will be a half block from the station and the #4 train will go whizzing by. Its been cold here. Not optimal. You’re probably wondering why I don’t download the Metro Valencia app. Believe me, I have it. It doesn’t seem to matter though as the “real time map” isn’t exactly updated in real time. It seems to be about 3-4 minutes behind reality. Luckily, its just a short 10-15 minute wait until the next train.

Every day we think they might release Kelli, and then they don’t. A half hour ride each way isn’t a big deal. I get to bring her stuff that puts a smile on her face.  One of these days soon we will be in the car going home and my brief commuting revival will be over. That will be a good day.

One thought on “Mr. Conductor

  • Toward the end I had to laugh. Who wants to get to know a train schedule and the train dynamics due to a hospital stay? That analyzing brain is going full tilt! You are a great writer, too, Jeff, so it’s good to see you back writing. I continue to send good juujuu to Kelli and hope this all ends soon for you two.


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