I was going to make my first post on this blog something deep and introspective… but it just wasn’t happening. So instead, I present you with this little anecdote from my day.
Today was an adventure to say the least.
This past Tuesday, I started working as the N.C. State Fair Public Relations intern. I work smack dab in the middle of downtown Raleigh. The location is absolutely fantastic… and horrific. It’s fantastic because it’s nestled in the historic portion of Raleigh… right across from the capital building. Both the history and natural science museums are less than five minutes away from my office. Krispy Kreame (and many other delicious eateries) is within walking distance of my office as well. However, the parking is either non-existent or absolutely unrealistically priced ($20 to park for one day… say what?). As I sat down and looked for the most economical option for parking, it became apparent that the only way to not spend all the money I make this summer, is to take advantage of my fair city’s public transportation. Yes, you read that right. Jeanie Groh will be taking the bus to work this summer.
This morning, I made my way to Triangle Town Center to catch the 7:20 Express Line to downtown Raleigh. The bus was fairly full, but a nice lady quickly offered me the seat beside her. Things went fairly smoothly as we made our way downtown (although I did have a mini-heart attack when I looked up from my phone and realized that we were not where I was expecting us to be). Well, the lady beside me pulled the little line on the edge of the bus and the bus stopped and let her off. (I had no idea that that really worked in real life.) So, I got fairly close to where I work, pulled the little line and got off. I felt so empowered. I rode the bus to work, I can take on the world… right?
Work went without a hitch today (sans the little blisters I started to develop on my feet when we walked to lunch). I finished up what I needed to finish, turned in my time card and made my way to Moore Square to catch the bus home. I had enough time to get to Moore Square, but not too much time to spare. Well, when I got there, I couldn’t figure out where to find my bus. There was a sign for the R line, but none for any other busses. Well, as 5:20 crept nearer and nearer, I began to panic. I jumped on the first bus that stopped and asked the driver if this was the bus going to Triangle Town Center.
“No, honey. This bus ain’t going to Triangle Town Center. You’ll need to get on the Red Line. That might be your bus right there. If you hurry, you might be able to catch it.”
I don’t know if that next bus was the right bus or not, but I didn’t make it to the bus before it rolled away. I looked down at my phone. 5:21. I knew that it was too late. There was no way of finding my bus. Wherever it was, it was gone.
I continued walking around the edge of Moore Square and eventually found where all of the busses stop. I searched for a map and tried to find an alternate route home. No such luck. I was either going to have to wait for the 6:20 bus or call one of my parents and have them come pick me up.
When the realization that I wasn’t getting home any time soon finally sank in, I snapped back into reality. The sights, smells and sounds of Moore Square immediately came into focus. The muggy air was oppressive and the smell of diesel permeated the air. The sighs and squals of the huge busses were almost overpowering. And then, I saw all the people. I hadn’t realized how many people were around me. I also hadn’t realized how much I didn’t fit in.
I decided to walk around the station to familiarize myself with it for the next time that I made the trek home. That was a mistake… I hadn’t even made it halfway around before a gentleman–errr… man–stopped me. What did he want? To know “whether or not I had a husband or anything.” I brushed him off and muttered, “I’m taken.”
It was then that I decided that I needed to get as far away as I possibly could–as fast as I possibly could. I clutched my purse tighter to my side, averted my gaze to the ground (I was done making eye contact with strange people for the day) and hoped no one could see how red my cheeks were.
I originally planned to walk back over to where I work and walk around the museums as I waited for my fearless father to arrive. But as soon as I started to feel safe, big, fat raindrops began to fall from the sky and I was forced to take shelter under the closest awning.
Fortunately, the smell of freshly baked bread met me under the awning and I realized I had run straight to the doors of a Subway. I ducked in and made the little table by the door my home for the next 30 minutes while I waited on my dad to make his way downtown. He finally made it and we eventually made it back home safe and sound (with a pizza in tow).
So…. that was my adventure. I hope you enjoyed it!