Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday: The Return Trip From Hell

I think I must have been spoiled on the way to DC, but I certainly paid for it on the way back.

My bus was set to leave at 1:15. I was hungry, and able to eat again, so I grabbed some food in the food court before. I was rushing a bit and then couldn’t find where the buses were set to depart. Crazy me stopped by the desk marked “Information” and asked where the buses left from and the EXTREMELY rude man behind the desk said “I don’t know.” Apparently the information was for the train, though it just said information. He was an ass. The end.

Finally I figure out where the garage was and then I can’t find the bus. Well it turns out it was running late. This was foreshadowing of things yet to come.

The bus finally arrives and we jam on. I mean jam. The bus was completely full. I end up with an aisle seat with my bag crammed under my feet. It was an old bus and I couldn’t find an electric outlet and my phone was quickly dying. We finally head out. Overall it wasn’t so bad…yet.

A bit into the trip I see the guy in front of me plug his laptop in, so I tapped him on the shoulder and asked where he found the plug. He told me under the seat. Finally I found it and got the phone charging. Overall it seemed to be going slow, however I had no idea just how slow it would be. Apparently there was a 30 mile back up on the Tollway, so we took the back roads, in a bus. It was AWFUL.

I was set to arrive back in Manhattan around 5:15. Since we didn’t leave until nearly 1:30 I was expecting around 5:30. With the traffic I was still in Jersey at 6:00 and was not happy about it. I was supposed to check in when I got back to Manhattan, so I sent a text that said “not dead, but not in Manhattan.”

We finally made it to Manhattan around 6:15. That was too long on a bus.

When I got back no one would answer their phone for me to check in with them (jerks). I headed back to the subway, because clearly I am an expert. All I had to do was back track.

Best laid plans, they say. First I literally back tracked and tried to get on a downtown train. Luckily I figured that out before I got to the platform. So I waited on my train, got one call back, on the platform even (miracles never cease). I get off at my stop and head to catch the M72 at Central Park West and 72nd. Things were a bit dead on the Upper West side at this time of night on a Sunday, so I won’t lie I was a little nervous, but not too bad. My bus shows up, I hop on, dead tired, but happy to be headed in the right direction.

All sounds good, right? Until I get to 71st and something and the bus driver says “last stop.” Um, what??? So I get off, and find my new best friend: Google maps transit option. I punch in where I want to go and it tells me M72. Well now I’m mad at the M72, so I consider walking, but don’t want to walk through the park at night. Finally it directs me to the M66 a few streets down.

As I’m walking I find The View studios (no pictures because I was a little frustrated). I also realize that I am out of money on my Metro cards. No problem, I was smart and got cash before I left Oklahoma so I wouldn’t have to worry with it. I pull out two dollars and a quarter and make my way to the M66 bus stop. The bus pulls up, I get on, and this is when I realized that you cannot use dollar bills on the bus.

To say that I almost burst out in tears is an understatement.

And this is where I would like to give my PSA on how New Yorkers are not mean. As I’m staring from my money to the machine and back again the bus driver looks at me and says “get on, I’m not going to leave you stranded.” We ended up chatting across town and I got off at 68th and York and had to walk a few blocks.

I had never been more happy to see anything in my life than those evil steps at Whitney’s brownstone.

I crawled up the stairs and into the apartment. I dropped my stuff and was DONE. I made my check in phone calls, to which I burst out crying on the phone to two different people. I decided that my emotional breakdown was not due to public transit or New York, it was simply that in 60 hours I had changed states 12 times. That will do in anyone.

I crashed pretty soon after (well after a trip to Duane Reade for earplugs, orange juice and a candy bar) and slept in the next morning.

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