The Elevated Train in Chicago continues to become more challenging to use as the economy stagnates. More riders of all sorts crowd on as the CTA cut services and personnel. I had a beach day and dinner in Wilmette today - caught the train at 9:45 - and it was a wild ride home. It is a Saturday night, and hence a party crowd. Students heading into the city for a night of revelry and assorted riders in various states of sobriety crowd in to the cars. At one point I had to change seats when a group of students (four females, one male) got on neat the Northwestern campus. They talked so loudly, the entire car could hear their catty and unkind conversation about fellow students in some sort of seminar they all participated in. You can always tell the newbies to the train, oblivious to their surroundings and unconcerned about the riders all around them. Later in the ride people in the car in front of me evacuated from the car in front of us saying something about someone smoking. Smoking what I don't know. The woman next to me, who up until this point had her head buried in a book, mentioned she hope it wasn't a smoking device. They stopped the train between stations and the conductor had to enter the car, I don't envy him his job, and some how resolved the whole thing. I never found out what it was all about but the slight scent of marajuana was in the air. I was happy to jump off at my stop at Addison, where another large crowd of party people jumped on.