Ah, Welcome to the Real World – Part II


Part 1: No Big Deal

Part 2: Ah, Welcome to the Real World – Part I

And now the continuation…

The parking lot looked like the identical twin to the one I had seen just a few minutes ago. Why is everything so huge here?

Walking past deserted row after row, I prepared for the task at hand. I needed a bus pass because I had no change in my pockets. And this supermarket was the only source for such passes that I could find.

I started my round through the aisles. Yeah, it’s a supermarket. Nothing I hadn’t seen before. But the differences laid dormant in the shelves. The chemical smell that emanated from the bread aisle irritated me. Ugh, what was that smell? I passed bagels, white brad, English muffins, Italian Bread, rye bread, cinnamon raisin bread, and burger buns. The optical impressions changed, but the smell didn’t.

I hoped to find alternative options in here once it was time to shop for food. But for now, I had another objective. I couldn’t find anything that looked even remotely similar to a bus ticket – off to another round and another one.

A sparkle of hope glimmered behind the checkout counters. They were selling something over there. I could see lottery tickets and phone-credit cards. I took my courage in both hands and approached the coworker who was just a few feet away – idling as it appeared.

Me: “Excuse me, sir,”

Coworker: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Me: “Where can I find the bus tickets, please?”

Coworker: “Right over there.”

He gestured directly to the area that had awakened my interest.

Me: “Thank you so much.”

Coworker: “You’re welcome.”

The first little success I was allowed to have. I walked over and added myself to the line. Reminder to myself: I need to ask for a 30-day bus pass. Don’t screw that up, please?!

The line got shorter one by one. My pulse accelerated in tune to the steps I made in direction of the counter. I need this bus pass to get to New Haven. You can do this. Why am I nervous? It’s a bus pass I’m trying to purchase. I wasn’t trying to get something complicated like a life insurance policy, or an expensive and life changing sports car, or an illegal drug. It was highly illogical to be so excited about this.

Finally, the last customer in front of me finished their transaction. It was my turn. I made the last two steps toward the counter.

Coworker: “Hey, what can I help you with?”

Me: “I’d like to purchase a 30-day bus pass, please.”

Phew. I had almost tripped over the 30-day part, but I hadn’t. I had made it. See, it’s easy, no big deal.

I smiled when I left the store. It had taken me an hour and a half to get to this point, but I had my first accomplishment. Yeah…

The bus stop was easily found. But it didn’t have a schedule. Well, I knew that a bus should pass by this stop every twenty minutes or so. So it shouldn’t be too long.

I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Nothing happened. I had an idea: Instead of waiting here in the freezing cold, I could just walk down Whitney Avenue. There should be more stops along the street, right?

I walked for fifteen minutes, but I could neither see a bus nor another bus stop. There must be a bus stop somewhere, come one… I kept walking. My stomach began to protest. So did my feet. All right, that’s it. I turned around and walked all the way back to the bus stop I knew. Whitney Avenue felt like a road to nowhere – an endless strip of asphalt that was about to swallow me up.

As I came closer to the intersection where I had found the bus stop, I made an unpleasant discovery. It had been 45 minutes since I had first reached Whitney Avenue, but I hadn’t seen a single bus. But when I looked to the horizon, a large blue vehicle came into sight that looked an awful lot like one of those busses that serve the area.

How am I supposed to catch this one? There’s no bus stop. The website says stops are clearly marked by a road sign. There are none – anywhere. Said I and watched the bus rushing down south and past me. How nice!

Looking after the vehicle, I realized that I had enough. I walked home and arrived there three hours after I had begun this frustrating experience. I just wanted to get to New Haven; that’s all! The positivity boost from the supermarket had been obliterated; thank you, bus!

To Be Continued…


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