Yesterday my favorite barista was out for an early meeting with the guys and didn't have time to make me coffee, as is traditional in our household. Without the loud noise of the coffee bean grinder, I woke up late. It was ok though, I rushed around and made it out the door in five minutes flat. I even managed to bring my keys AND my phone, which is an accomplishment I still sometimes struggle to achieve even on days when I get coffee.
I made it to the street just as the bus was pulling away from the stop, but the driver recognized me and kindly stopped so I could leap aboard. My bus transport card was in my hand AND it had money on it! I was seriously winning.
It's always a toss up for me where to sit for my morning commute. I get on at the second stop on the line, which means there are always plenty of empty seats to choose from. I love that. Sometimes I sit in the single seats on the right side of the middle of the bus. The ones on the left are reserved for passengers who are elderly, pregnant, sick, disabled, or carrying small kids. I don't go near those. The ones on the right aren't reserved, and I like them a lot because nobody can sit next to me and eat their stinky breakfast and breathe their stinky breakfast breath on me the whole way to work. Unfortunately, a LOT of elderly people like to ride my bus. Probably because it goes to Carrefour. So I run the risk of having to give up my seat halfway there, and have to stand the rest of the way. It's not a huge inconvenience, but I decided not to risk it and go for my second favorite seat - the very last row, next to the window.
I tucked myself carefully into the very back left corner of the bus. There was no way I was going to have to give up that seat, which was good, since I was still not feeling awake enough to stand up AND have to hold on to something so I didn't fall down. Sure enough, a few minutes later, somebody came and sat next to me, but it was ok because they weren't eating stinky tofu for breakfast. Or anything at all! Bonus. I already had my headphones in and was listening to Popup Chinese, while I alternated between playing a round of Candy Crush and doing several minutes of Skritter Chinese practice
. I don't mind my commute so much as long as I can be doing something useful while I ride. Candy Crush is useful, right? I mean, who is gonna crush those candies if I don't do it?
In fact I got so absorbed in
diligent Chinese practice that when I finally looked up from my screen, I had no idea where I was. I was on a street I did not recognize. That was not good. I pretty much know all the streets on the 44 route between my house and my office extremely well. This wasn't one of them. I did a quick panic check to be sure I was actually ON bus 44 and not some other random bus. Nope. Right bus. So...
Yeah, I must have missed my stop. Turns out I was so into my
, ahem, Chinese practice that I missed it by 3 whole stops. This was not good on a morning where I was already kinda pushing it on the getting to work on time front.
By the time I did rush into my office, I was actually a whole 10 minutes late. I missed my stop, I explained to Zhi Wei, the network guy, who was luckily the only one there before me that morning. Whoops
, he said. Just one stop though right?
Nope! Three stops! I didn't even know where I was! Wow
, three stops! How did you get back here?
I crossed the street and took bus 44 back the direction I came, I explained. Three stops back. Then I got off and ran!
He was very impressed. That was such a smart idea
, he exclaimed. Really smart! And you aren't even very late! Wah you crossed the street and took the bus right back! And you got here before Director Li, so it doesn't matter at all! So very smart!
I hadn't thought of it that way. I WAS very happy to have gotten in before Director Li though, that is always a very good thing. And how awesome to have coworkers who think you are amazingly brilliant for simple things like figuring out how to solve basic problems like missing your bus stop....by three. What a great way to make me feel smart after doing a dumb thing like missing my stop! I love my coworkers!*
*As long as you just don't consider what kind of base level I'd have to be starting from to make figuring THAT out make me look like Sherlockina Holmes, ok? Shhhhh... Back to the happy thoughts! Hooray!