Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homeward Bound

The Tuesday after Memorial Day was the commute straight from the devil. Legit, his hell fires blazed down a furniture store and stopped L traffic from Belmont to North and Clyborn on the Brown and Red lines. Story here.

We were informed of this in a muffled tone and asked to catch shuttle buses ready and waiting to take us north at Grand. We shuffled off and waited...30 minutes go by and no shuttle buses. Only crowded 36 buses from downtown that could only let 1 person on from our stop of easily over 50 people waiting. One smart cookie called CTA who let her know that the shuttle buses were waiting at North and Clyborn where the train was supposed to kick us off but did not.

I immediately called Roommate who is my transportation guru. He used his ninja-like bus map skills to get me to the Mag Mile to catch an express bus. I've been on a shuttle bus before, but this was not the same sense of camaraderie that I had experienced. People were pushing in front of one another, cutting people off, and generally shoving each other like it was the last bus out of Dante's Peak. (you like that reference? Me too.)

Fortunately I was able to slide in to a spot where most could not (or would not be willing to) and held on tight. One business woman in particular gave the 20-something next to me a pep talk: "You gotta do what you gotta do! If you were too nice you'd still be standing there, you've gotta be an independent woman!" She also sang hymnals when we pulled up to her stop at Irving Park.

The bus dropped us at Berwyn where I made an acquaintance who might have been the last man in the city not to rely on Transit Tracker. 18 minutes delayed? Come on Red Line. I walked as far as Thorndale before catching a bus as close as I could get to the Loyola stop and hoofed it the rest of the way. "You could have walked. 8 miles and it's a beautiful walk!" Roommate encouraged. I thought about it, but three hours, two buses, a train, and a walk was enough of a journey for me.

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