Friday, July 31, 2009

Cars, Buses, and LRTs

Wow, this morning sucked. I woke up early due to a restless cat and the wife who let him in, then squabbled about that for an hour. Always the best way to start the day, and I'm so not being sarcastic.

Next up: dropping the '98 Toyota Camry off at Alexander's Imports for a check-up and oil change. On a scrap of paper I wrote out the intersection where I would catch a bus (22C) into downtown--I wouldn't be biking today, what with driving the car to the garage. At this point my mind enjoyed a brain-fart and I focused on the wrong street in the intersection and overshot the garage by nine blocks. Turning around from Hiawatha Ave was not very easy and I wended my way back through several tedious passages in south Minneapolis.

I found the garage, dropped the car off, and walked to where I knew a nearby bus stop was. Out of curiosity I checked out the intersection and discovered it bore little resemblance to that which I'd cribbed on my note. The X-axis was correct but the Y-axis was off by several blocks. I hiked out to the correct location and, of course, missed my bus by five minutes. The next appropriate bus would not turn up for an hour, helpfully enough.

It was 9:30 AM and I had to be at work at 10:00 AM. I thought about calling a taxi, which would of course be expensive and timeliness was not guaranteed. Waiting in place was a poor option; a better one was to walk three blocks south and several blocks east (backtracking, essentially) to the LRT station on Hiawatha and 38th St. Resigned to failure, I set forth and texted my wife with the update of my adventure.

Almost absently I thought to check for my Go To card (reusable bus pass) in the pocket on my travel bag, and discovered that pocket empty. I checked all the pockets and did not find the Go To card anywhere. Better and better! But I did have two dollar bills on me, and the bus rate had shifted to off-peak, so at least that worked out. As I approached the LRT station the warning bells and lights went off, signaling the approach of an LRT. With seconds to go I forced my money into the bus pass machine, grabbed my pass and change, and boarded the LRT just before it took off. This was the only thing that has worked out in my favor all morning.

With nothing to do for the rest of the ride, I dug out my Kindle 2 and resumed reading Think Smart, the chapter on sharpening one's memory. Abruptly I recalled where my Go To card was: in the pocket of my Kindle case. One more issue was resolved; I put the card back in my travel bag.

As it happened, I pulled into my stop at 10:01 AM and it was a short walk to my office from there. Rather than a full hour, I was only nine minutes late to work. After hearing this story, a coworker complimented my survivalist ability. I was grateful for her assessment.

1 comment:

Cinamingrl said...

Survivalist ability for sure. I have it also. One has to have that in order to live in the city.