So it finally happened – after 4 years of being terrified of getting on the wrong bus, I actually did it. Now I ofter use two different bus routes to accommodate daycare pick up and ensure I get to work early enough depending on what is going on. I am always worried I am going to go to the wrong stop and end up in a slightly incorrect city. Today, however, I got on the wrong route to a city I have no reason to be in.
I didn’t notice until we were about 30 seconds outside the park and ride drop off. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was but I knew there was a McDonalds across the street. I also knew there was no telling how long I would actually have to wait for my husband to come and get me since it was rush hour and I still wasn’t sure where I was. A serious lacking of observation all around. Wrong bus and no notice until I got all the way to the destination … clearly confident enough to not ever look up and make sure what was happening made sense. For the best I suppose, since I would have spent the whole ride panicking but not being able to do anything anyway. Those express buses have like a whole two stops.
Let’s paint a picture of what this day was like outside too. At 4 in the afternoon it was only 5 degrees Fahrenheit – the sun was starting to sit a little lower in the sky and my husband was still about 30 minutes from being done with work, after which he had to pick up our daughter and then come get me. Honestly there was not a whole lot in walking distance … except McDonalds. With the exception of McDonalds in the Amsterdam air port after my first trip to Tanzania, I have never been so thankful, relieved, and over joyed to see those golden arches. This experience has put in the back of my mind the heart breaking thought of ‘how do homeless people do this’ but for the sake of keeping this story light I won’t go any further into that.
I was lucky enough to have homework with me and of course my smart phone … seriously how did we handle these situations before technology gave us the world in the palm of our hands?
After crossing the street and getting to McDonalds just a little too early for dinner but feeling like I had to order something I was confronted with the thought of acting natural – like this was intentional – or acknowledging my botched plans to get home and have a home cooked dinner on the table for my family. So I told the woman I got on the wrong bus and was waiting out my husband’s arrival.
I guess on the bright side there were no dishes to clean after dinner, I got some alone time to work on uninterrupted homework and I faced a fear/hazard of public transportation – and not only survived it but did so with minimal interruption to my day. And as a bonus I got to nap on the 30ish minute drive home. Goes to show you sometimes the fear is far worse than the reality.