photo courtesy of sectionz on Flickr
“Oh, God! No! Somebody HELP!”
As we walked up to the train station after our fun day at the State Fair, we noticed a middle-aged couple frantically yelling & beating on a departing train in a vain effort to stop it. The woman was on the verge of hysterics as she flagged down a motorcycle cop nearby.
“My son is on that train!”
Apparently, the young boy had bounded onto one of the cars just as the doors were closing, and was now traveling solo toward downtown.
I’m sure everything turned out all right, and the bewildered boy and his parents were soon reunited. After all, the police officers and station attendants were able to understand the situation and could quickly respond. But what if this had happened to them in a foreign country, where few people speak English and the rail system is far more crowded and complex?
We used a lot of subways and trains in big cities like Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Tokyo, and we tried to make sure Hannah and Olivia knew what to do if they found themselves on a train without us or left behind at a station. Luckily, we never had to use it, but we did have a plan.
So, if you’re planning to take your little ones to a strange city where you’ll be using public transportation, you might want to have a strategy, too – just in case.