Those of us who use the TTC on a regular basis know the system is far from perfect — commuters deal with a range of technical and non-technical issues: train delays, missing busses, and odd comments from strangers. In this second installment of tales from the TTC, we’ve rounded up a couple of exceptional stories from the depths of Toronto’s tunnels that encapsulate the usual glitches in a typical transit journey.

I recall my first TTC experience as a new international student, trying to get to the Eaton Centre to buy a Canadian SIM card. I remember how scared I was when the subway stopped moving and I could barely understand the garbled announcement. We stayed stationary for 10 minutes, but when the train finally started moving again, we were told to exit at the next station because the line was going out of service. There was no one to ask for help and I had no ability to find my own alternative route. Instead, I had to find a train to take me back to St. George — the only station I knew — and then walk to the Eaton Centre. I still have very limited knowledge on how the whole system works since it seems to operate on assumed knowledge.

— Charmaine Nyakonda

I was once on the Bloor line and an older woman sat down beside me. She started talking to me and we fell into conversation about our days. Then she started to talk about her family. I couldn’t understand too much of what she was saying, but I made out that her son had drowned in a lake. I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” but then she started to laugh. We started talking about pets and she told me she’d had a dog once. She laughed again and told me he got run over. Then she told me that her father was in an airplane accident. Through all this, she was laughing hysterically, like all these deaths were one big joke. Finally we arrived at my stop, and as I was about to leave she gave me a hug. It was the most bizarre subway ride ever. On the one hand, she seemed pleasant, but on the other hand, she clearly had the most twisted sense of humour ever.

— Nicole Sciulli