i’ve been thinking about life in the USA. that’s because, for the first time in … let’s see… 16 months, i am actually IN the USA. spending half of the summer here has been gratifying and enlightening, and also maddening, at times. i’ve caught up with and gotten to know family and friends that i dearly miss during my seemingly incessant travels abroad. that part has been fantastic. the weather in new mexico can’t be beaten, and even when it’s hot as the dickens, nothing rivals china in terms of sweat-production.
the thing that’s most affected me here this summer has been the lack of a vehicle. my car, which was kind of a dud to begin with, went to live with my sister in colorado (sorry juels!), so i have been couchsurfing and begging for rides. i hate begging for rides. my aunt and uncle live near the railrunner, new mexico’s answer to a public transportation train system. after my arrival at their place, i quickly downloaded schedules and fares, grateful for being able to get around albuquerque sans a car.
the 20 minute walk to the station didn’t bother me, even on hot days. it was more exercise than i’d gotten since i left my bike behind in china. the fact that the railrunner goes to 2 stops in albuquerque also didn’t bother me, because those two stops happened to be my aunt’s house and downtown – lucky me. in addition to public transport, i had the goodwill of friends and the generosity of my aunt & uncle to loan me a bicycle (which, admittedly, i didn’t use much) and their truck, on occasion.
i guess it was labor day that i really started to curse things. i planned to meet a friend for lunch, knowing i would have to take the railrunner WAY out of my way and then catch a bus up and around town to meet her. believe me, it was more than the long way ’round, but i seriously didn’t mind. the train even had added service times due to the wine festival and labor day weekend, so i was stoked. i hopped on the train and settled into one of the bright red seats, and it greeted me with a familiar “meep meep”… i could even imagine the coyote was right behind me with a bucket of TNT.
once downtown, the bus stop, a rapid transit dual car system that goes every 10 minutes, is just outside the train station. additionally, you can access all of the bars and clubs and restaurants downtown – nevermind that the railrunner only goes until 7:30 pm… anyway.
the bus wasn’t there. i waited. some drunk spanish-speaking bum with a lazy eye approached me and asked me “donde esta tu casa? vienes a tu casa?” i was like “uhh no.” i waited more. the spanish guy came back and said “no bus.” i barely heard him. i noticed that there really HADN’T been a bus… for 20 minutes. ok, maybe it’s a lessened labor day service. i waited more. i watched a horde of eddie bauer- sporting lesbians standing nearby. i assumed they must be waiting for the bus. lesbians always take the bus, right? tick tick tick. 30 minutes. finally, a fat kid nearby starts looking as scared as me. i ask him if he’s waiting for the bus, and he says yes. i say is there a bus today? he says, there’d better be or i’m screwed. me too, i say.
turns out there’s no fucking bus. with no american cell phone and no car and basically no money, this left me waiting around for the next train back to my aunt’s house – a full hour away.
this leads me to the point of all this. HOW THE FUCK HARD IS IT TO HAVE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?
additional side notes:
1) what is the need for massive-ass cars?
2) why don’t restaurants serve vegetables? as their own dish?
3) why is it that people who eat eggs freak out about the idea of eating chicken feet?
4) i freaking LOVE having 37 different ethnic restaurants to choose from for dinner
5) fast internet is a beautiful thing
6) so are sandwiches and dark beers and bars without dance floors
6.b) it costs $9 a person to eat lunch at furr’s cafeteria.
7) you can survive without a mobile phone (it was questionable)
8) yes, it is a mobile phone
9) what’s wrong with using chopsticks to eat salad or steak?
10) WHY ARE ALL THE FLAGS CONSTANTLY AT HALF-MAST!
i wish everyone on earth would get over themselves. that probably includes me.
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that’s all for now. see you in a few days. from ireland. FUCK. YES.
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