Last week I mentioned some of the people I encountered on my recent train trip to Newark to visit with our new Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha.

I’d like to continue that journey at bit more, this time focusing on how different people can be.

I’m sure everyone reading this column has experienced the best and the worst that mankind has to offer — the way we’re treated, spoken to, spoken about, and thought of. Well my friends, I can’t think of a better place than New York City and the trip to and fro, to run into the full gamut of human nature.

Right from the start of our trip, Denise and I encountered or witnessed the good and not-so-good of humans.

At the Providence train station, I was sitting in the waiting area and a blind man came and sat next to me.

Just because he was blind wasn’t the stimulus to begin a conversation, but the fact that he was wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey was.

It turned out that the young man loved all teams Canadian. We talked about Canadian football, ice hockey, weather, and people. It was a great way to start the trip. When the young man left, I watched in admiration how he adeptly made his way through a busy train station by himself.

Once aboard Denise and I couldn’t help but listen to another young man on the train. This one wasn’t so pleasant. He was on a Bluetooth phone and was obviously on a conference call with, what I imagined, was a gaggle of young business men. He seemed to relish the fact others could hear his conversation. I was just glad I didn’t have breakfast.

When we arrived at Newark Penn Station we couldn’t find a decent waiting area to sit and rest a bit. I finally (it’s a guy thing) asked for directions from a N.J. cop in full ammo and uniform. He said he had noticed us walking aimlessly and thought we would eventually stumble on the right area. He chuckled when he realized we hadn’t and he cheerfully steered us in the right direction.

We stayed the night in the Big Apple and made our way to one of our favorite eateries, the NYC Hard Rock Cafe.

We were greeted there by two young women who obviously were annoyed by the fact that we asked to be seated. Strange, because that was their job. But once inside the restaurant we were greeted and treated like rock royalty by the rest of the staff. Such a contrast from the pair just a few feet away that reminded me of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets.

Once we had eaten we hit Times Square and it was wall-to-wall people. Most were friendly and smiling, while others plodded along with heads down like a running back hitting the line of scrimmage.

We headed beneath the square to catch the subway back to the hotel. The train arrived and you couldn’t squeeze another human on board — but that doesn’t stop New Yorkers. I held tightly to Denise’s hand and yanked her on board. A woman tried to break our chain to no avail. “I didn’t know you were attached,” she muttered. A smile is all I could return.

At the hotel we again were treated like royalty — until I checked out and found a $10 WiFi fee when it was supposed to be free. I questioned the desk clerk. He told me I signed on incorrectly and asked snarkily if the fee was going on my credit card. So much for royalty.

I often wonder why people act the way they do — some so nice and others not so much. I do realize that I’ll never know what they are going through in life, and I should give all the benefit of the doubt. Lord knows, I’ve had my share of bad days and took it out on the rest of the world. People, you gotta love ’em.

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at

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