Cleaning house

Monday, October 10, 2005


So...I went away this weekend. I had a wonderful time. I began to document my trip in a sort of travelogue. The unfortunate part is that once I got there, I was too busy having fun to write it down. And on the way back, I was so tired I slept most of the way. I will update those portions tomorrow on my final day of vacation. Here, for your reading enjoyment, I will post Friday's travel-rambling.

1:15 pm. Friday, October 7, 2005

I am on the bus and the bus is moving.

I am the Queen of Organization. Knowing how bad the traffic was this morning at 7 am, I should have anticipated that DOWNTOWN would be BUSIER once everyone went to work. I should have also considered that this town houses 4 universities and that every last student in the city would be trying to travel home for the long weekend. I should also have anticipated (although God only knows why) that the VIA parking area that does take overnight vehicles only takes loonies and that there would be no change machine at the station.

I should have.

I allowed an extra 20 minutes for transit and finding the parking lot. Should have been ample. WERE THIS AN ORDINARRY DAY.

Half the downtown roads in Halifax are torn to pieces--I encountered not one, but TWO detours. I ran into traffic like the 401 at 5:30pm--7 lanes of parking lot.

I found the parking area without much trouble, as the girl at the Westin had given me good directions. My stress was high though, as the bus was scheduled to leave at 12:45 and it was already 12:35. I wheeled up to the parking barrier and pushed the button for a ticket.

Nothing happened. I pushed it again. Nothing. I swore. I pressed the button several dozen times, letting fly a steady stream of epithets. Still nada. At this point I noticed the indicator on the machine that clearly stated its requirment of loonies only--5 per day.

I then did the only thing I could--I threw the car in reverse, pulled a U-ie in the middle of the street and peeled out to the front of the station.

At 12:40 I wheeled into a metered spot. I had devised a plan--I'd find out where the first stop was, and race the bus!! 'Surely, I can drive faster than a bus,' I told myself. Risk of RCMP ticketing be damned! At best, I'd only have to drive to Enfield--at worst, Truro.

I raced up to the two overflowing buses. (that world SHOULD have 2 sssses--no matter WHAT Merriam-Webster says!) I ran back and forth like a ping-pong ball until I figured out which man-in-a-blue-tie was the driver. I asked where the next stop was--I got the incredibly helpful answer that if the bus was full, it'd go straight through to Fredericton with no stops. The bus then became full, but there werre still tons of people waiting. The overflow was routed onto the second (already full) bus.

Someone on the sidewalk said that the bus company would put on more buses until everyone was on one. I then decided to risk the 12 mile lineup at the ticket counter. I figured that if it was really sold out--they'd not sell me a ticket. If it wasn't sold out, they'd not let the bus leave without me.

The minutes ticked by. The line crawled. The girl behind me was very nice. She had a lip ring and canvas Mary-Janes. The ticket man garbled over the PA system-- "mwah-mwa-mwa-mwaaah..." (a la Charlie Brown).

I got a ticket. The woman at the counter was very nice, but she had no change for the evil parking lot. I stood in the VIA line. The men in the line were at the window and had been the only customers for the last 20 minutes (I know, I had been watching them!)--how much longer could they possibly take? TOO LONG!!

After doing the antsy-dance and knowing I still had to park and get on the bus--I gave up and bolted for the car. I pulled through the Superstore parking lot; I drove around the block 3 times--panick stricken. What if I missed the bus after all that trouble?! I decided to risk the Superstore. Despite the "Don't park here unless you're shopping here. EVER. And we mean shopping *RIGHT NOW* Or else we'll tow your ass. And we mean it!" signs posted all around the parking lot, I decided to chance it. If they don't tow me tomorrow, I'll be okay. Sunday and Monday are holidays and the store will be closed. Here's hoping. Because I love my car. And my golf clubs are in the trunk--and I REALLY love my golf clubs.

I ran to the bus--I was the last person to get on. I'm sitting right behind the driver. I was sitting next to his bag of stuff. It wasn't so bad.

Then we went to Darkness. We had to fill the remaining few scattered seats. Every last seat on the bus is taken. Even the one next to me that previously contained the driver's bag of stuff. Now it contains a boy--one like I always avoid on public transit. Dirty, dishevelled, but fairly nice. He was polite, said "Excuse me" and even offered me to share his Crispers. In Truro we lose a few passengers. With any luck, he may be one of them.

At least now I'm on my way.


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