Sunday, October 5, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

So because I finally have a home, today I moved two of my suitcases from my relatives' home to my new digs. I had it all planned out, and this was going to be easy peasy. My suitcases both rolled, and there's a tube station mere feet from my dorm. No problem, right?

Well, as it turned out ... the tube station mere feet from my dorm was closed. For the weekend. So I had to get out a station early and revise my plans.

It was raining and cold out, and so my first instinct was to maybe find a cab. Except that there didn't seem to be very many empty cabs on the street. Then I started wondering about buses, but I had no idea which bus to take. At this point, some dude, who was theoretically a cab driver, wandered up to me and asked me if I needed a cab.

I eyed him kind of suspiciously. I mean, if he was a cab driver, where was his cab? 

"Yeah, kinda," I responded. "Will you take me to X Station?"

"X Station? Sure, sure, that will be £10."

"£10!! It's a 10 minute walk."

"Sure, if you want to walk it in the rain!"

Um, okay, first of all, WHERE is his cab? Second of all, how does he know it will be £10 without running a meter? Is £10 extortionate for a ten minute walk, or are cabs plated in freaking gold in Britain? Needless to say, I wasn't going to find out. If you know me, you know what I proceeded to do.

I jutted my chin out defiantly and asked him to show me how to get to X Station.

Disbelievingly, he pointed out the street I need to take.

I thanked him, and headed up the street.

Might I remind you that I had TWO suitcases with me? And that a half mile walk without suitcases is quite different from a half mile WITH suitcases?

But I did it. I mean, my arms felt like they were going to fall off by the end, but I did it. And hey, I saved money, carbon emissions, and got some exercise all at the same time!

I mean, I don't recommend that you walk .6 miles with two suitcases. I would imagine you aren't as hasty or as impetuous or stubborn as I am. A sane and rational person would no doubt have figured out which BUS to take. 

But, I mean really, since when have I been sane and rational? My craziness is half my charm! 

At least that's what I'll be telling myself tomorrow when I wake up tomorrow with incredibly sore arms.

12 comments:

Red said...

I absolutely love this post. I can see thee entire thing transpiring right in my head.

Good for you and sticking out your chin. I love walking, but our tiny little town does not have adequate transportation to get around town properly.

Did I mention good for you?!

JAM said...

I am proud of you! We have done similar stuff in England, because my husband (from there) said never to trust any "cab driver" without the official black cab. We never figured out the buses either, although sometimes if there are other people waiting at a station we asked them if we could get to wherever we wanted to go on that bus, and we got help. But we never figured them out enough to do it without help. I'm sure you will soon though - we were always only there for 7-10 days at a time. Our biggest challenge was getting up the escalators with 4 carry on suitcases, a few small bags, and a 4 year old who was petrified of escalators and needed to be carried - wow - some of those stations are waaaaaay underground. So I'm no stranger to sore arms either, but eventually you get there and it is satisfying knowing you did it on your own. Good for you!

pink dogwood said...

I am so proud of you - and yes, craziness is your charm :)

Abbie said...

OK, maybe it's cause I'm a country mouse but... that guy could have been a serial killer.

Good thing you walked :)

ruchi aka arduous said...

Red, thanks!

Jam, yeah that does not sound fun with the suitcases and the four year old. Luckily with two roller bags, escalators aren't much of a problem. But what I don't understand is, how do people in wheelchairs get on and off the tube?

Thanks PD!

Abbie, I doubt he was a serial killer, but he definitely was trying to rip me off!! :)

ScienceMama said...

Actually, your craziness is about 7/8ths you r charm.

kimberly said...

i feel like this is just such a typical london experience. every time i've gone, i've had to deal with closed stations, streets full of rush-hour pedestrians, and suitcases (either 2 or that one time i brought 3 like an idiot) and having to pull them up stairs 'cause not all of the subway stations have escalators/elevators. i would recommend that you never take the cabs. they're incredibly expensive... this is all part of the experience! i'm glad you made it ok :)

Jennie said...

sore arms indeed! but more importantly I hope your suitcases kept your belongs dry. That is what upsets me the most about being in the rain that my backpack and the stuff inside gets wet.

ruchi aka arduous said...

Gee thanks, Sciencemama!! ;)

Kimberly, I know it's amazing how often the tube stations seem to be closed!!

Jennie, luckily my suitcases have a pretty thick lining so my stuff was all just fine.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

My London-based friends think nothing of jumping into an "unlicensed cab" (i.e. some random dude's car) as long as there is more than one of them... I think they are crazy. The first time I got into one of those cars with them (I was drunk) I was sure we were all going to be killed, but the guy was just trying to earn some extra money and didn't rip us off too much. Still, though...

annie said...

Hah! My sister was in town last night, and she brought me a suitcase of winter clothes. So after we hung out, I walked the suitcase from the East Village (where she was staying) to the PATH station. 1.5 miles away. At 1:30am. On a Saturday night. I love that we were doing like the same (stupid) thing at just about the same time. Awesome.

ruchi aka arduous said...

Cath, yeah the unlicenced thing sounds dangerous. Especially if you're on your own!

Annie, sheesh! 1.5 miles at 1:30 am! You ARE crazy!! :)