Sometimes, a defense used when accused of doing something unprecedented. Sometimes, just something to tell yourself to get psyched up when trying something new.

The other day I was riding the BART and an old man sitting behind me asked if he was on the right train to get to the caltrain station. I told him "Yeah, this one goes under the bay to San Francisco"

"This goes under the bay?" he asked, visibly shaken, "They forgot to mention that to me before..."

I didn't know who 'they' were. He moved to a seat near the door to see the route map.

When we actually started under the bay, the train was pretty full of commuters, as it was 5:30pm. Since it's just a long, straight stretch of track, BART goes fastest in the transbay tube, so its awful whining noise gets loudest. I noticed the old man asking the guy now sitting next to him "is it always this loud?"

"Yeah," said the guy, and buried his face back in his newspaper.

"My first time." Explained the frightened old man. "First time for everything, I guess."

At the Montgomery station, I got his attention and told him it'd be easier to get off here and take the N muni train instead of walking all the way. He thanked me and stepped off the train, and headed up the escalator.

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