You eat in your room? Why?

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Dakota 400

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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.
Well said! I don't mind engaging in a discussion of politics or religion with others as long as the conversation remains civil and open minded. Not on Amtrak, but starting in 2017, on some of my cruises, I have had very interesting discussions with fellow guests from outside of the USA.
 

AmarilloByMornin

Train Attendant
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Jul 31, 2017
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Something of an aspie here so it's much more comfortable in my roomette. The times I've risked it have been mixed; but for some reason foreign visitors have been very rewarding Yet there have been other near-disasters, particularly from people who evangelize their political views. I don't get to choose with whom I am seated.

When I was younger i took many risks. Nowadays, not so much; I got my jab, I wear my mask. If I choose to stay in my roomette, sue me.
 

dwebarts

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Bethesda MD
Well said! I don't mind engaging in a discussion of politics or religion with others as long as the conversation remains civil and open minded. Not on Amtrak, but starting in 2017, on some of my cruises, I have had very interesting discussions with fellow guests from outside of the USA.
That's similar to my own experience. The new rule seems to be that you're reasonably safe talking about politics or religion with non-Americans, and safer not discussing controversial topics with Americans.

This doesn't make me happy as my natural inclination is to discuss anything with others and even play devil's advocate when it might improve group engagement.
 

basketmaker

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Apr 19, 2018
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Brighton, CO (DEN but FMG-Preferred)
Meeting people when dining or just hanging in the Lounge is one of the best perks of rail travel! I have met so many interesting folks from young adults from other countries, older folks traveling to see the kids, a truck driver who's truck broke and he is heading home, a phenomenal women with 8 of her 12 kids on-board and even a professional prostitute heading to the Mustang Ranch while going to college in the east. *and no she was off-duty while traveling!* About the only time I'm in my room is to change camera batteries, maybe take a nap or in bed for the night. COVID be damned!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
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My opinion is only about the Auto Train, and have been traveling the AT for years. We choose not to eat in the dining room due to the simple fact Hubby is a big guy and does not fit comfortably in the booths in the dining room.
 

CameraObscura76

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Apr 10, 2014
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San Antonio, TX
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.
I am also deaf so this has been my experience as well. I usually go to the dining car, but I’m not always comfortable with the communal seating as I’m very much of an introvert.
 
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I am also deaf so this has been my experience as well. I usually go to the dining car, but I’m not always comfortable with the communal seating as I’m very much of an introvert.
It'd be great if there were individual eating spaces offered in the dining car. For solo travelers who want the experience of dining in the dining car without having to sit, eat, and converse with strangers.
 

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I think those types have always been around. Ask the waiter to wrap your food to go.
When I've asked for a meal to go the dining staff have always insisted that it be requested by my SCA instead. I have not tried telling them it was due to my seatmate being a crazy person but they do not seem like the kind of people to honor such a request quietly and with good humor. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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.
Unfortunately many who wish to discuss politics or religion do not wait for approval to begin and in the last several years have gone from making comments that were vaguely prejudicial to aggressively bigoted.

It'd be great if there were individual eating spaces offered in the dining car. For solo travelers who want the experience of dining in the dining car without having to sit, eat, and converse with strangers.
I think a bar and stool setup would be great for single travelers and those who want variable participation.
 

flitcraft

Conductor
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Jan 10, 2018
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I think a bar and stool setup would be great for single travelers and those who want variable participation.
Maybe for some, but not for me. At not quite 5 foot 1, I hate bar stools! My feet dangle uncomfortably, my back is unsupported, and I feel like a little kid seated at the grownups' table. It's why, in the Before Times, when a restaurant would try to palm me off with, "There's seating at the bar," my response was always, "I'll just wait for table space, thanks." Having said that, I do agree that it would be nice to have some way to eat in the dining car without forced socialization for those that prefer a more private meal experience.
 

20th Century Rider

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Best friends tell me to take precautions and care on an upcoming cross country Amtrak adventure... I've scheduled a 3rd Pfizer vaccine shot a week prior to departure because that is when it is available for me... and it will be weeks after I begin my trip until the full protection takes effect. Will probably remain in my room for more than if it were normal times. It is my choice to take the precautions I feel I should take... and I respect other viewpoints... but all should be respectful to how each of us handles the risks and dangers of covid.

All should live their lives as they choose... and respect how others choose to live theirs.

doctors-shots-injections-drugs-pharmaceuticals-medical-CC120868_low.jpg
 

anumberone

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When I've asked for a meal to go the dining staff have always insisted that it be requested by my SCA instead. I have not tried telling them it was due to my seatmate being a crazy person but they do not seem like the kind of people to honor such a request quietly and with good humor. Hopefully I'm wrong.


Unfortunately many who wish to discuss politics or religion do not wait for approval to begin and in the last several years have gone from making comments that were vaguely prejudicial to aggressively bigoted.


I think a bar and stool setup would be great for single travelers and those who want variable participation.
I was being facetious about asking the waiter to wrap to go, and as much as i would like a boring person to give it a wrap, hey, I’m as guilty as the rest. I love the opportunity to meet and greet in the dining car.
 

MrMattyMatt

Train Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2013
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37
I do enjoy dining in the dining car as long as the passengers sharing your table are fully on board with it. (pun intended) I took a short trip on the Silver Service several years back, Deerfield Beach to Orlando and booked a reservation for lunch. This was back when they still had the Heritage rickety diners. I was shown to a table where another man my age was seated already. He was super surprised and a bit put-off that he had to share a table. It was quite awkward but he eventually warmed up. I was completely fine with dining in silence as I am not super chatty by nature. I guess some people just don't understand how the dining car works.
 

justinslot

Service Attendant
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May 25, 2014
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I prefer to not have the obligation to interact with strangers while I eat. I want to be able to read a book or just stare out the window.

Also there's times I just want to keep working (remote worker, I always work on LD trains) though in practice I may not get a lot done after two Tanquerays (gotta have a pre meal cocktail) and a half bottle of the finest Amtrak red.
 

Chatter163

OBS Chief
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Your experience is not the same as everyone else. I’ve been scolded for salting my food, had unwanted physical advances that made me uncomfortable, and I’ve heard all sorts of political and religious talk.
While I agree that none of these are desirable, I would term only the physical advances as toxic. Hearing people of different opinions speak is certainly not toxic, in my opinion, even if their perspectives are completely opposite my own. There's a higher bar for toxicity than that.
 

jis

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While I agree that none of these are desirable, I would term only the physical advances as toxic. Hearing people of different opinions speak is certainly not toxic, in my opinion, even if their perspectives are completely opposite my own. There's a higher bar for toxicity than that.
Even if they kindly share the opinion that I should go away to where I came from? Would that be a suitable higher bar, or are we not simply familiar with such possibilities so have not taken such into consideration? There are inherent privileges of being of a certain background that can shield one from the worst of it.
 

Dan O

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I enjoy eating in the dining car. You meet all types there and perhaps come to appreciate your friends and family more. Only once in several meals have I thought that I wouldn't want to eat with a particular person again.
 

Barb Stout

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Even if they kindly share the opinion that I should go away to where I came from? Would that be a suitable higher bar, or are we not simply familiar with such possibilities so have not taken such into consideration? There are inherent privileges of being of a certain background that can shield one from the worst of it.
Someone has told you to go back to Florida? Seriously, what you're talking about would be above the toxicity bar for most people.
 

20th Century Rider

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Regarding mingling with others on the train: everything is so 'situation specific' with so many variables. Right now with all the dangers of Covid I am choosing not to get too close to anyone because the risk is so high /// verses the pleasure of idle talk. When people eat they remove their masks. When people eat food particles often fly through the air during conversation... depending on care taken.

I respect what others choose to do... and I expect others to respect my choices as well.

BTW today I am scheduled for the booster... and just got the flu shot the other day. My life / my choice ... and my choice is to minimize risk.
 

Eric in East County

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Regarding mingling with others on the train: everything is so 'situation specific' with so many variables. Right now with all the dangers of Covid I am choosing not to get too close to anyone because the risk is so high /// verses the pleasure of idle talk. When people eat they remove their masks. When people eat food particles often fly through the air during conversation... depending on care taken.

I respect what others choose to do... and I expect others to respect my choices as well.

BTW today I am scheduled for the booster... and just got the flu shot the other day. My life / my choice ... and my choice is to minimize risk.
It is probably safe to assume that new and even more potent stains of COVID will continue to emerge. This is why we will continue to wear our masks in public places and while traveling. Although this is not the primary reason why we choose to eat in our bedroom, it is certainly a factor.

Eric & Pat
 

20th Century Rider

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Just returning from a check-up and asked my doctor about precautions when traveling on Amtrak. I was told that covid can be caught by droplets that get into the eye... and he highly advised bringing along a pair of light and easy goggles as a deterrent. Why not? Will be wearing those goggles on segments where there is now dense two by two seating and that Amtrak is now allowing in coach cars.

Can't be too cautious with all these new variants flying around... and that' my personal plan for now.

But I would never impose on others or their ideas regarding precautions. IMHO and just my own personal plan to be safe rather than sorry!
 

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Even if they kindly share the opinion that I should go away to where I came from? Would that be a suitable higher bar, or are we not simply familiar with such possibilities so have not taken such into consideration? There are inherent privileges of being of a certain background that can shield one from the worst of it.
I haven't had anyone tell me I should go back to where I came from but more than one table has assumed I would be supportive of their bigotry simply because I looked like I might come from the same tribe of troglodytes.

While I agree that none of these are desirable, I would term only the physical advances as toxic. Hearing people of different opinions speak is certainly not toxic, in my opinion, even if their perspectives are completely opposite my own. There's a higher bar for toxicity than that.
Unwanted physical advances are called assault where I come from. It's one thing to make a choice to join a debate involving a controversial topic but another thing entirely to visit a simple dining car only to be dragged into a hate speech diatribe unsolicited.
 

Dakota 400

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ust returning from a check-up and asked my doctor about precautions when traveling on Amtrak. I was told that covid can be caught by droplets that get into the eye... and he highly advised bringing along a pair of light and easy goggles as a deterrent.
Please ask your doctor to provide us with documented evidence of this recommendation to you.

My good Lord, when I taught science, I had enough trouble keeping goggles on my students when they were needed because of the fumes that they could smell etc. from our experiments. To need to wear goggles to protect one from something that cannot be detected by human senses, such a recommendation makes little practical sense.
 

cirdan

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It is probably safe to assume that new and even more potent stains of COVID will continue to emerge. This is why we will continue to wear our masks in public places and while traveling. Although this is not the primary reason why we choose to eat in our bedroom, it is certainly a factor.

Eric & Pat
Maybe this may yet turn into a big selling point for Amtrak, at least for people in higher risk categories, or people who would prioritize reducing risk over saving time.

On an airliner you don't have a private room that you can eat in and you can't reasonably maintain distance either.

And you can't do that on a bus either. And not everybody can or wants to drive long distances.

Maybe Amtrak needs more of a marketing offensive to drive this home? Both in attracting passengers but also in attracting political support. Sounds like an easy win to me.
 
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