Wednesday, September 11, 2013

shuttle mission

And so endeth the streak.

Yeah, in just two and a half weeks!  Over.  I drove to class today.  *sigh*.

See, my plan is to never ever drive to class.  I won't go into detail, but bottom line, the university is not conducive to car commuters.  Enrollment has exploded in recent years and the parking spaces haven't kept up.

In fact, I know it's surprising to some that Chaco and Wolfgang live on campus even though we are just a few miles away.  I've mentioned that it's been good for them, to get their independence and responsibility... to get that whole "college experience", etc.  And those are nice secondary effects, especially since they are full-time students.

The primary reason they live there, though, is the parking situation.

ANYWAY, back to ME!

My plan is to never ever drive to class.  Option (a) is to bicycle commute.  Option (b) is to take the metro bus, which has a convenient economical route from nearby our house, right to campus.  A distant distant option (c) is for me to drive to one of the shuttle lots.

So here's a thing.  I don't have actual hard statistics, but I can say that the frequency of rain in the morning around here is:  hardly ever.   We might get rain every day for several days in a row, but it's almost always in the afternoon, maybe evening.  Morning? Oh pshaw!

Today was a hardly ever day.

It was cloudy and rain was forecast, but it was morning!  So I was all set to go when, about five to ten minutes before I planned to leave, the skies just OPENED!  To the point where I thought it actually a little unsafe to bicycle in - low visibility, puddles/mud, slippery brakes...  And, oh heckfire, it's too late for me to catch the metro bus.  Shucks!

I drove to shuttle lot choice 1:  Full.  I drove to shuttle lot choice 2:  Full.  I drove to shuttle lot choice 3:  Surprisingly not full.  Note to self for future reference:  Don't bother with shuttle lots of choices 1 and 2.

I hopped on a shuttle that took us up the lung burner hill and up the thigh buster hill, and there I was with the other downtrodden commuters.  And the conversations!  What is it with some young adults these days?!

About how he told her he didn't want a relationship, but his grandma really liked her because his last girl was a b*tch, and how he told her he didn't want a relationship but she still wanted to hang out and how she got all cuddly kissy but then he told her that "friends don't do that" but she said it was okay if he didn't want a relationship she just enjoyed hanging out which translates to getting cuddly kissy which translates to...

And I'm all "Seriously, I can hear everything you're saying!"

Most of the other shuttle rats, though, I noticed, had earbuds in.  Is that proper shuttle etiquette?  Put in earbuds so the sordid details - some of which I bet were slightly *COUGH* exaggerated - are heard only by the intended audience?

So that was my commuter experience today.  I hope to not have to resort to the distant Option (c) again.  Need to plan a little better.

The commute time was right about the same as with the bicycle.  Just not nearly as fun.  And I don't need the drama.

Grandma sounds fun, though.


Guano said...

Sounds like an interesting day before it even got started! Oh, the drama.....
As a 2-wheeled commuter (albeit with a MOTOR!), I've resorted to multiple logistical plans as well. I do it for the parking and for HOV access.

Zoom Zoom!

Anonymous said...

Well I'm certainly glad you got to experience it, 'cause it sure made for a fun post! But now you have even more motivation to continue biking to school. Perhaps you can buy fins or water wings or pontoons for Tessa, so she can handle those wet, slippery, muddy roads a little easier.
(Now that you mention it, that was Link's biggest stress after moving to Ohio and attending school there. The traffic and the parking is AWFUL! I mentioned taking public transportation in, but he brushed it off. I guess he's just learning to accept it, but there's gotta be a better way.)

Abby said...

On the bicycle, I have two traffic lights to deal with. Without it, I have seven. Logistics is right. Keep rolling!

Abby said...

Fins, water wings, pontoons! Now you're thinking! I do think a little extra rain gear might help in such situations. I kept thinking "I betcha Bike Lady is riding in today, I'm such a wuss."

Riot Kitty said...

Did you really say that? That would be hilarious!

In college, a friend and I took a bus from her parents' house back into NYC and we were talking about sex the whole time. When we got off the bus, a guy in his 50s said, "I was about to ask if I should offer my services!" We hadn't thought about anyone overhearing us.

Rock Chef said...

Ah, the joy of bus conversations - I swear that some people deliberately save really private conversations so they can share them with a bus full of people. That one sounds fairly mild compared with some I have heard.

As for parking, we have 3 Unis in Canterbury and none of them have parking for students - at my Uni, even staff need a good reason for having a parking permit!

Hope the rain goes back to its norman schedule soon!

agg79 said...

I always wondered how you and RC handle the rides on those "less than perfect days". Chalk this one up to experience.

I do love those bus/train conversations. People carry on like they're the only ones on the bus, regardless of where the conversation leads. Nothing like hearing about someone's love life (in detail) or their latest malady. While in China a few weeks back, whenever we traveled on the trains, I did note that almost everyone was head down and plugged into their smart phones.

Abby said...

There is something about riding in a bus that makes thoughts - and conversations - turn to sex, isn't there.

And yes, I said it, but only in my mind.

Abby said...

Right! I'm not as well versed in bus conversation, but this one seemed particularly loud. After we deshuttled, I couldn't help but turn around to have a look. Expecting some athletic "playah" type guy, he turned out to be actually rather dweeby in appearance.

No parking for students! There's a thought!

Abby said...

I think that's what made this particular conversation stand out. It was the ONLY conversation.

As I type, it's cloudy muggy wet outside with more rain in today's forecast. But I've planned better and am ready to roll. The new streak begins.

meleah rebeccah said...

"I know it's surprising to some that Chaco and Wolfgang live on campus even though we are just a few miles away.  I've mentioned that it's been good for them, to get their independence and responsibility... to get that whole "college experience", etc.  And those are nice secondary effects, especially since they are full-time students."

In my humble opinion, I think its SO MUCH better for them to live ON campus. And if my own son gets into Rutgers, which is only 15 minutes from my house, he will be staying ON campus too and not living here. Its like a rite of passage.

"Most of the other shuttle rats, though, I noticed, had earbuds in.  Is that proper shuttle etiquette?" -- Well, I would probably wear earbuds just so I wouldn't have to listen to those ridiculous conversations happening.

Abby said...

I really do see positive differences between students that live on campus and those that commute. Glad the crappy parking pushed us that way. Go Rutgers!

LL Cool Joe said...

I do hate hearing other people's conversations on public transport. Well anywhere. Why do people follow me round a shop carrying on their conversation about banal crap. It reminds me of Facebook. :D

Abby said...

Yeah, all this oversharing. Isn't that what blogs are for??

terri said...

Well, I'm glad I don't live by the young adult standards. I just don't think I could be comfortable with getting cuddly kissy with my male friends!

So the shuttle sounds like an interesting experience. I'm thinking that for those times it becomes a necessary evil, you can strive to pick out one person or couple and observe them. Then report on them here. It's fascinating stuff, what other people can be like!

Abby said...

I don't get the whole "friends with benefits thing" either. What??

I do like to people watch. Short shuttle rides can be good for that.

Anita said...