Sunday, November 05, 2006

It Just Wasn’t Meant To Be…

I decided to head to the mall for a change… And boy did it teach me a lesson.

Well, first I was deciding how I would make my commute… So the adventurous part of me screams "take the bus"—taxi was just too easy—so map and address in hand I headed toward the place where I have seen a couple of people wait for buses. I asked at several stores for a bus number that might take me there, but had no luck. I found myself walking one way and then the other when people directed me—this wasn’t getting me anywhere. Well I wasn’t giving up just like that. And I was very very determined to find this bus stop, any other day I would have given up my quest long ago.

Heck, no one knows where bus stops are. I wouldn’t blame them entirely. If they had more conspicuous boards, people would know where buses stopped—then I figured there were signs it’s just that they were lost in a million other road signs along the sidewalk. But that didn’t help either, cause I didn’t have the bus number yet. So for the nth time I walk up to this guy and ask for directions and he gives me a bus route book, God bless him! From the book I figured, if I walked for about 2 kms, I would reach the bus stop for bus number 30/238, which would take me all the way to Barton Creek Mall. So I started walking stopping occasionally to take a picture or two and check the map, I think about how Austin doesn’t have a mass transport system and how stranded you feel if you don’t have transportation of your own.

My feet were beginning to tire. I’ve been walking for one and a half hours now, but I push myself to walk the last block. I’m glad when I finally see the sign and the dark green wrought iron bench—the only sign that it’s a designated bus stop. I sat there for five minutes. Looked up the book, yes, I was in luck my bus was scheduled to arrive in five minutes. I see some newspaper on the bench and another sheet of paper on the bench, but take no note of it thinking it’s something someone probably forgot. Ten minutes have passed and my bus hasn’t shown up. While I wait and watch, this guy walks up to the bench and bends down to pick up the sheet of paper reads it, mumbles something and keeps walking. Now I was curious. I pick up this piece of paper and wham like a slap in the face in big print I read something to the effect of Bus number 30/328 not operating on that route from Nov 5th. I let out a curse, several actually, and look upward and ask WHY ME?

And that was it. I took out my phone and called a taxi and went to the mall. While in the taxi, I was thinking of all that had happened in the past couple of hours. I was just not meant to ride the bus today. And no prizes for guessing how I got back from the mall, taxi, of course! But do I want to try it again….. hhhmmmm? I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll have better luck on a Satruday!

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