Thursday, November 18

the Countrymouse rides TRANSIT

Today is November 18th and I am almost done my first week of work.  Tomorrow I work another half day, and I will be in a "classroom session" learning the new computer system.  Today I spent 4 hours in reading/computer training on the system, albeit in "self-study" time.  The time went quickly.

I have to tell you about today.  I decided to take the bus.  Okay, you have to remember that since the year I went to MBCI and HAD to take the bus (that was in 1975-76) I have hardly had to take a bus, so today was a little scary!  My daughter Ashley figured out the route for me - actually gave me a couple options.
I got permission to park my vehicle at the church she works at, Rowandale Baptist.  I took a coffee to her, and had a little visit with her first, and then proceeded to catch the first bus. 

Ash suggested I go a little earlier "just in case" ... well, I waited and lo and behold, there came the big bus just a minute or two later than its scheduled time.  At this point, I had been waiting for 10 minutes so I was glad to get on the bus. 

Down Henderson Hwy it went, over the big Disraeli Bridge and onto Main Street... and there was my stop.
Okay... what was the protocol - do I use the front door or the back.  I must have looked completely miffed, but went to the bag after some hesitation.  And well - I didn't know HOW to open the back door!! And the bus started to go .... one block, two blocks, three blocks.  My heart sank.  I was glad I was wearing my runners.

It stopped and the girl behind me told me how to open the back door.  Okay - it didn't take a rocket scientist but I just wasn't smart enough on my own!  I truly felt like a COUNTRY MOUSE on her first day in the BIG CITY!!  So out I went, and in my best "fast walk" I went as fast as I could back the three blocks that the bus had taken me against my will!

Ah, finally - there was WILLIAM... now just had to walk to KING.  OH NO.... is that the bus.  Okay, really I could have likely TRIED to run, but I am really not in good shape, and there was a red light, and then.... there it went, JUST as it was almost within my grasp!.

OH NO!!!  At this point I was ticked.  I was thinking "Man, I should have just driven myself... for Pete's sake, now what!!"  I called Ashley and she just confirmed what I already knew.  The next bus was not for half an hour.  SO.... again, glad I had my runner's on.... off I went! 

Those were VERY VERY long blocks... Main to KING, to PRINCESS - to ISABELLE to SHERBROOK .... and finally Tecumseh! I got there in time for work, and in time to change my shoes, hang my coat and look like I was "together" enough to get to work!  It took me about 20 minutes.  My friend Mary said she could do it in 15 I think she said.  Obviously I didn't walk as fast as her.  Did I mention the big bag of stuff I had to carry!

I kept thinking.... oh you are such a country bumpkin!  Can't even get the back door of the bus open!  I had to laugh really.  But I got there, and got a second walk in for the day. 

At the end of my shift, I was just going to leave, and went down to get my coat only to find that where I put it - it was locked up TIGHT!  So, there I go, looking for security, and wondering if I was going to miss my bus going home!  I got my coat (thanked Joe the security guy) and bundled up - went outside and heard a honk.
And there was my daughter, who had waited for me, after running an errand of her own, and so graciously rescued her mom from another bus ride!

So now - here is the dilemma....
There is no where to park that is cheap.  A day of parking in the parkade costs $10 bucks.  But - the bus costs $5 return (almost) and I think it is going up.  Plus an extra half hour of my time going, and half hour coming.  So is the $5 saving worth the hassle?  Hmmm.... What do you think?

Now I am at home and the bus ride seems a long way off.  It is almost 8 pm.  We had a great supper.  The place is cleaned.  Alvin is reading.  Christmas Jazz music is playing.  I have a cup of coffee by me!
I am glad to be home. The snow is softly falling, but more is on the way.  A famous "Alberta Clipper"...
I am glad to be nestled in the loft, safe, sound, and not riding around on a bus, or walking on William Avenue.  I am thankful for this time. AND... tomorrow is Friday! 



Anonymous said...

How refreshing. Even us city slickers had to learn how to use those new bus doors. I used the front door for a long time after my first experience with those doors.

I can relate all the way.


Jean said...

I would think that saving $5 every day and getting the nice fresh walk (you can count it as part of your exercise program) would be reason enough to take the bus. Just wear plenty of layers as the weather gets colder.