Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm

Amtrak – Confused and Humiliated

My trip from LA to New Orleans was long and mostly uneventful. Mostly. I disliked the old lady sitting next to me and her two tween grandsons, least of all because she tried to steal my window seat đŸ˜¡

I slept, watched movies, read a bit, ate, repeat. I took some food with me so I wouldn’t have to buy much on board, but I still succumbed and got some orange juice, and they did these really yummy Italian sandwiches… The guy working the snack car was good fun too, very cheery to say the least. He probably got to sleep in a bed, that’s why.


In Houston, Grump Grandma got off and I met this lovely lady called Kay who took the seat next to me. She is a native Houstonian, retired math teacher. She was off to Washington DC to collect her grandchildren for the Summer holidays.


Kay had short short hair that was a more than a little gray, and a lovely Southern accent you just want to be hugged by. We exchanged tales of our cultures, and I asked her about whys he wanted to be a math teacher. Turns out she didn;t make that decision untils he was in her 30s. After not being too good at maths at schools he didn’t have much interest, and even after high school she started two degrees before deciding she would do teaching, just so she would settle on something. During a workshop she was taught a new way of explaining maths (I think using the unit-10 blocks) so she decided to specialise in math teaching so that the next generation of children wouldn’t be as confused when learning maths. By the time she retired she was teaching the teachers how to do it better. She has also suffered from breast cancer, but is now cancer free. She was telling me about the drugs they had to give her, the treatments and also how God helped.

I personally am agnostic (no proof of existence, nothing to disprove it either). I believe there is a higher power, but I don’t believe in religion. So I don’t subscribe to all the other terrible ideas that can come with religion, such as anti-abortion and anti-gay sentiments just as two examples. There are lots more, but anyway. Moving on.

Kay explained how she has a few different prayer groups and even meet ups where you go just so other people can pray for you while you are there. She did two or three of these groups at various places. She also does written confession, I think she called it. I don;t know the whole detail, but it is just writing down your thoughts. Kay had cancer, it went away but then came back. Or they thought it might be cancer, it was just a straneg lump. Kay wrote in her written confession “dear Lord, this mass in my right breast will be cured. It will be confused and humiliated” (paraphrase). They did biopses and mammograms and ultrasounds etc, and the doctor came back and said they weren’t sure what it was still. I just found that to be an amazing story. I was also really interested by the word choice in humiliated, and have been thinking about it some. I have no great insights, but it is good to practice applying different definitions/contexts to words.

We rolled into New Orleans about half an hour early, and Kay and I went our separate ways. I got a taxi to my couch hosts place. He wasn’t home but he had left the door unlocked for me so I made myself comfy. He arrived home about 9am the next day, and the my New Orleans adventures really began.



I was meant to be doing this six week trip with my now ex-boyfriend. Sometimes I miss him because of the cuddles that could be shared. Most travellers I know say that you have to travel with someone to really test the friendship/relationship. We didn’t even make it out the country. I’m glad things have gone the way they have. I fear that even so far, if I was traveling with him I would not have met the people, or had the conversations I have had. And that would have been a terrible loss.

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .
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