On Board VIA I to Ottawa.

6:58 and all is well that starts well…at official start, that is.

Never one to think that if anything can go wrong, it will, this morning I was inclined to an inkling of that believe.

For starters, while gathering together all the stuff needed for a writers’ convention in Ottawa, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t printed my VIA Rail ticket. My first time as a Preference Member (which gives oodles of perks, including privileges to pre-book seats and choice meals), I was intent on getting the perks. Well, the printer jammed. So I e-mailed proof of the confirmation to my BlackBerry. Arriving at Union Station’s Panorama Lounge, I discover their computer is down. With no ticket, I’m ushered to the kiosk, which doesn’t accept my booking due to VIP status. Lucky me: the ticket agent finds my booking, tickets and sends me off to VIA I just in time for boarding.

The attendants are sweet (not to mention handsome!): they lift my bags on to the train, shuttle them into storage and show my to my “pre-booked, quiet seat at the front of the car.” Only problem, that seat would have been at the “front of the car” if the train was headed from Ottawa to Toronto, not vice versa. Now it was at the back, and across the aisle from a mother and a very cute, screaming baby. Dismaying, considering I counted on working (not to mention Tweeting and Facebooking!) all the way to Ottawa. No problem, said the attendant. Within minutes I was ensconced in my own little pocket of solitude at the front of the train, my laptop plugged in (there’s free!!! Wi-Fi), with a cup of calming tea.

Now the only thing nagging me is wondering if I’m clothed in a telepathic karma that causes every telephone agent – be it for trains, planes or touring buses – to seat me beside the one and only crying child aboard. Never mind, I really don’t believe in such stuff.


Glad you were able to find some much needed peace and quiet on board, especially after the ticket issues. Good karma, after all!

Vivian is Virtual
VIA Rail's tour guide

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