You eat in your room? Why?

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Qapla

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I might interject that "eating in your room" could also apply to "eating at your seat" when riding in coach - especially since you also have the option to eat in the café/lounge car.

I have enjoyed both methods and, like eating in the dining car, I have also experienced some interesting conversations with people I had never met before and most likely will never see again when eating in the café/lounge car.
 

pennyk

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One of the most unusual tablemates I had in the dining car (pre-covid) was on the Silver Meteor. I was seated at dinner at booth where a woman was already seated. I sat across from her. The woman was reading (either on an iPad or a book). She did not look up to acknowledge me, but I said hello. She mumbled something - possibly hello and went back to reading. Apparently her book was much more interesting that I was or she did not like talking to "strangers." We ate in silence. I have audiobooks on my iPhone and keep earphones in my purse. I listened to an audiobook while eating. Sometimes "silence is golden."

I would much rather have a tablemate not speak than listen to someone talk about politics or religion at the table. I have been fortunate that it does not happen very often. I recall twice I asked a tablemate (with whom I was a friend) to stop talking about politics. Once, the political conversation was one with which I agreed (but there were 2 others at the table) and the other was one with which I really did not agree (and threatened to leave the table if he did not stop his rant).
 
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jis

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I recall twice I asked a tablemate (with whom I was a friend) to stop talking about politics. Once, the political conversation was one with which I agreed (but there were 2 others at the table) and the other was one with which I really did not agree (and threatened to leave the table if he did not stop his rant).
I think I can guess and even get at least one right. But I won't 😐 At least not publicly ;)
 
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jpakala

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The dining car conversations are often the highlight of our journey. On the LSL we were with a couple that had come from the UK on the QE2 and were returning after a roundtrip to CA via Amtrak. We also sat with a couple from western Canada who were delightful. On the Silver Star we sat with a retired school teacher from Brooklyn at dinner and at breakfast with a New Englander who was returning to his new home in FL, both interesting people. Between LA & Oakland we sat with a man from New Zealand and a physician from WA, later with a Chinese mother and her daughter visiting the USA. On the TE we met someone we continued contact with for several months, owing to common interests, and later with a couple who were botanists and avid readers. (All these were in dining cars several years ago.)
 

TinCan782

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A time I recall where eating in our room was preferable to the diner was several times when we were in the Texas Eagle sleeper (421/422) on the Sunset Limited. The walk through all those coaches to the diner was more than my wife could handle. Except for that, we eat in the diner.
 

Qapla

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On one trip to NY on the Silver Meteor in coach I went to the café care to get something to munch and ended up sharing the table with a guy who was making an "emergency trip" back north. He told me him and his wife had just moved to Florida for her job. Someone in her family took ill and she had to go see them before it was too late. They ended up dying and he needed to go to the funeral and they would come back together. He was a nice enough young fellow who told me a little about his job - he worked for a tree service bringing down trees next to houses. He was one of the people who climbed the trees.

I had been trying to connect to WiFi from places like McDonald's as we went through some of the towns (before Amtrak had enough WiFi on the train to do that) and he told me he had a cell phone that would work as a "hot spot" ... it was a perk from his wife's job, they supplied her and him with a company paid for phone even thought he didn't work for her company. By using his "hot spot" connection, I was able to have fairly stable Internet all the way to where he got off.
 

Bembidion

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When I get a sleeper, I like to eat in my room. Not being anti-social just that I read when I eat or watch a film on my laptop and there are too many distractions in the dining car.
Do any others like eating in their rooms? Why or why not?
My wife and I prefer to eat in the dining room because we meet people from all kind of backgrounds and get to hear some fascinating stories. Also, the dining car is more open; eating in the sleeper would seem to make it a bit claustrophobic to me and there is no special ambiance to it. I will admit, though that if I travelled alone, I might prefer to eat in the sleeper because I'm a bit shy by nature.
 

anumberone

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On our trip, we had enough people in our party to take up more than one table in the dining car. We were able to engage in conversation with another family traveling and another time, with a father and his 2 sons traveling part way across the country. All of that was great and so enjoyable

BUT...on the other hand, one of our party got trapped with a religious zealot who only saw one way (his) for conversation. And our person tried to have a two-way conversation with him but, unfortunately, it was impossible. He was (putting it nicely) a "gasbag".

Thankfully, no political discussions came up.


But you take the good with the bad.
Yeah, I’ve ran into the same type with some kind of ministry they were engaged in taking over the conversation. Always happy to see the same person making folks at some other table squirm later in the trip. I try to avoid Politics, Religion and Money.
 

flitcraft

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OK, so this didn't happen on Amtrak but in coach on a place from Seattle to Tokyo. I am settling into my aisle seat and the middle seat is already occupied by a young man. I stow my carry-ons, smile and say hello, and his opening gambit is, "Do you know where you're going to spend eternity?" My response, "I think it's going to feel like this seat." (Put on noise cancelling headphones and close eyes...)

Yeah, stay away from religion and politics when chatting with a stranger...
 
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When I get a sleeper, I like to eat in my room. Not being anti-social just that I read when I eat or watch a film on my laptop and there are too many distractions in the dining car.
Do any others like eating in their rooms? Why or why not?
(s)

This is my first overnight trip. I have cancer and with COVID floating around, I will eat in my room to stay safer.
 

oregon pioneer

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This is my first overnight trip. I have cancer and with COVID floating around, I will eat in my room to stay safer.
Stay safe. I think Covid is the single biggest reason to eat in one's own room right now. I am vaccinated, and healthy, and would like to stay that way. If I get to travel this winter, I will be prepared to eat in my room - by bringing plenty of water and snacks, and some good ebooks on my iPad.

I also know other people who are fine with friends, but prefer not to have to make small-talk with strangers. Right now, I think that's me, too.
 

toddinde

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I enjoy eating in the dining car, but I do not like the communal seating. I have had some enjoyable experiences, and have had some seriously awful experiences with racist, boorish table mates. I am done with it. I really don't want to chat with strangers over dinner. I think in times past, people didn't share so many dogmatic opinions, but in this day and age, it doesn't seem like a sensible thing.
 

anumberone

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I enjoy eating in the dining car, but I do not like the communal seating. I have had some enjoyable experiences, and have had some seriously awful experiences with racist, boorish table mates. I am done with it. I really don't want to chat with strangers over dinner. I think in times past, people didn't share so many dogmatic opinions, but in this day and age, it doesn't seem like a sensible thing.
I think those types have always been around. Ask the waiter to wrap your food to go.
 

HenryK

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I am deaf, and my speech is hard for many people to understand. Some folks across the table just can't handle it and pretend I'm not there. Some have even asked to be seated elsewhere. Others have risen to the challenge and matched my efforts to communicate, and we have had intelligent and even memorable conversations. Going to the dining car is always a crapshoot.
 

caravanman

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OK, so this didn't happen on Amtrak but in coach on a place from Seattle to Tokyo. I am settling into my aisle seat and the middle seat is already occupied by a young man. I stow my carry-ons, smile and say hello, and his opening gambit is, "Do you know where you're going to spend eternity?" My response, "I think it's going to feel like this seat." (Put on noise cancelling headphones and close eyes...)

Yeah, stay away from religion and politics when chatting with a stranger...
Just an idea... ;)

stab.jpg
 

cassie225

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I have had very nice conversations with people on the train when I traveled and the dining car was open, I don’t discuss religion or politics on the train, I can’t remember ever having a bad conversation, if I’m seated with someone that’s fine, if not that’s fine also. This last time because of Covid in July I think everyone ate in their rooms
 

20th Century Rider

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Yeah, I’ve ran into the same type with some kind of ministry they were engaged in taking over the conversation. Always happy to see the same person making folks at some other table squirm later in the trip. I try to avoid Politics, Religion and Money.
Add to that list the boasters and the braggers and the genius attitudes types... who like to tower down over us 'little people' dominating the conversation by basking in their excellence / talents / wealth / accomplishments / etc etc etc. Like... 'gimme a break!' and/or wadda ya want - a metal or a monument! Ok Ok Ok - can I eat in peace now???
 

jis

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Add to that list the boasters and the braggers and the genius attitudes types... who like to tower down over us 'little people' dominating the conversation by basking in their excellence / talents / wealth / accomplishments / etc etc etc. Like... 'gimme a break!' and/or wadda ya want - a metal or a monument! Ok Ok Ok - can I eat in peace now???
A good conversation is always helped much if it is between or among people of similar levels of talent and humility, or at least are willing to pretend as if that is the case for the time being. Unfortunately there are many people who are too full of themselves to be sensitive to what effect they are having on those around them or do not care enough.
 

20th Century Rider

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A good conversation is always helped much if it is between or among people of similar levels of talent and humility, or at least are willing to pretend as if that is the case for the time being. Unfortunately there are many people who are too full of themselves to be sensitive to what effect they are having on those around them or do not care enough.
Meeting some great folks at assigned seating times is a matter of chance... and it can go to any extreme. I was once told to sit at a table in a crowded diner where an individual refused move over to let me sit next to him. I just went to the waiter and told him. He was happy to let me take dinner to my room where I enjoyed eating at leisure and watching the scenery.
 
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Stay safe. I think Covid is the single biggest reason to eat in one's own room right now. I am vaccinated, and healthy, and would like to stay that way. If I get to travel this winter, I will be prepared to eat in my room - by bringing plenty of water and snacks, and some good ebooks on my iPad.

I also know other people who are fine with friends, but prefer not to have to make small-talk with strangers. Right now, I think that's me, too.
I am traveling from Pasco, WA. I miss the Amtrak that went through La Grande.
 

20th Century Rider

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Stay safe. I think Covid is the single biggest reason to eat in one's own room right now. I am vaccinated, and healthy, and would like to stay that way. If I get to travel this winter, I will be prepared to eat in my room - by bringing plenty of water and snacks, and some good ebooks on my iPad.

I also know other people who are fine with friends, but prefer not to have to make small-talk with strangers. Right now, I think that's me, too.
Getting ready to depart on an extensive tour around the country October 5th and will make every effort to get the 3rd booster if possible by then. I connected with an excellent agent who gave me advice that I will follow... to remain as safe as possible during these pandemic times:

Wear mask whenever out of personal room.

1] take sanitizer aerosol to thoroughly clean the room. Clean the commode.
2] wash hands frequently
3] eat in room and enjoy the scenery
4] bring along peanut butter, nuts, and other LOW CARB snacks
5] use Wyler's sugar free sachets to flavor bottled water/ and drink lots of bottled water
6] bring small hot pot & powdered coffee to make with bottled water & avoid communal coffee urn
7] eat proteins and veggies avoiding high sugar foods to avoid fatigue and to sleep well
8] walk briskly at every smoking stop [of course I've never smoked!]
9] be content to not mingle with others - to be covid safe
10] reduce overall expectations and focus on the beauty of the rails, the scenery, and be flexible when delays

This is what I am doing to avoid risk as much as possible... everyone has their own way of approaching the challenge of dealing with COVID.
 
Joined
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Getting ready to depart on an extensive tour around the country October 5th and will make every effort to get the 3rd booster if possible by then. I connected with an excellent agent who gave me advice that I will follow... to remain as safe as possible during these pandemic times:

Wear mask whenever out of personal room.

1] take sanitizer aerosol to thoroughly clean the room. Clean the commode.
2] wash hands frequently
3] eat in room and enjoy the scenery
4] bring along peanut butter, nuts, and other LOW CARB snacks
5] use Wyler's sugar free sachets to flavor bottled water/ and drink lots of bottled water
6] bring small hot pot & powdered coffee to make with bottled water & avoid communal coffee urn
7] eat proteins and veggies avoiding high sugar foods to avoid fatigue and to sleep well
8] walk briskly at every smoking stop [of course I've never smoked!]
9] be content to not mingle with others - to be covid safe
10] reduce overall expectations and focus on the beauty of the rails, the scenery, and be flexible when delays

This is what I am doing to avoid risk as much as possible... everyone has their own way of approaching the challenge of dealing with COVID.
Thank you! Very helpful!
 

nferr

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Eating with strangers is not a highlight to me. Yes, I enjoy eating in the dining car over eating in my room. For me, the optimum is having my own table. I understand that's not realistic on Amtrak so I take my chances. I've had some real enjoyable conversations, but honestly most are just tolerable and some are down right uncomfortable.
 

caravanman

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A good conversation is always helped much if it is between or among people of similar levels of talent and humility, or at least are willing to pretend as if that is the case for the time being. Unfortunately there are many people who are too full of themselves to be sensitive to what effect they are having on those around them or do not care enough.
The above quote could apply to a cetrain train forum too, when tempers raise! :D
 
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