Fish out of Water, or the Lost Bethany Chronicles.


I admit right now, I’ve been putting off writing this blog for about the last three weeks. I wanted to wait until interesting things happened to me after the move before I wrote.

Well, interesting things have certainly happened.

The first thing that happened to me when  I moved to Portland was a raging ear infection, which led to a ruptured ear drum and temporary hearing loss. Literally the first thing that happened to me. Not even exaggerating.

So if day 1 was moving in, day 1 also consisted of a fever and overwhelming ear pain. Day 2 consisted of growing ear pain, a runny ear, and finally visits first to urgent care and then to the emergency room, where the doctor was a buttface mcStinker.

Anyway, I received antibiotics and eventually got better.

My next grand adventure involved Trimet, Portland’s bus system.

Trimet does have a trip planner on their website, and Google maps is helpful. But even the map isn’t all that  helpful when it looks something like this.

So anyway, the first time I decided to ride the bus into town to my sister’s house, it was quite the adventure. Since  I’m out in Lake Oswego, there is a limited number of bus stops within reasonable walking distance of me.

First, I couldn’t find my stop. I attempted to follow my faulty GPS, but it led me asunder–  I ended up scrambling down the side of a hill to a trail I spotted underneath a bridge. It was, at best, sketchy. However, the trail led me into a pleasant park, wherein I discovered that I was farther than ever from my destination.  After walking at least three miles out of my way, I finally made it to my stop, which was, as it so happened, only about a ten minute walk away from my house. I was not full of joy.

The bus arrived about 20 minutes after  I did, and I boarded, relieved. “The hardest part is over,” I thought. I deposited my handful of change into the thingy. The bus lurched away from the stop while I cleared a jam of quarters, and I nearly lost my footing. Seizing a bright yellow bar, I managed to not fall over, and haphazardly made my way toward the back of the bus.

At the front and top was an LED sign accompanied by a computerized voice announcing upcoming stops. I put away my phone, confident that I would hear my stop when it approached.

I rode for a while, observing people come and go with greater frequency as we approached Portland State University. I looked around as we went through downtown. I finally realized as we drove away from downtown and into an area that seemed oddly industrial that not only had I missed my stop, but I missed the entire area where I was meant to disembark and transfer buses.

Seized by uncertainty, I sat.

I rode around for another 45 minutes, waiting until we got to a decent-looking residential area before I got off the bus. I googled quickly as I walked, attempting to find out which bus stop would take me back to Hawthorne.

I must have looked quite interesting to the people in the yards, enjoying the sunshine, as I power-walked by, glaring at my phone indignantly.

Finally I reached the stop that would take me where I wanted to be. I checked the stop ID– it was off by one digit. A bus was coming up on the other side of the street. I ran to the crosswalk and across the street, in front of the paused bus. Out of breath, I boarded, carelessly pulling dollars out of my wallet and inserting them into the cash thing.

I again aimed for the back of the bus. While I rode back, a couple behind me talked loudly about how they were about to go smoke a joint, a kid got yelled at by the bus driver for not having his fare ready to go, and a girl looked at me as if she thought I was a rapist.

Whatever.

Forty-five minutes later, I leapt off the bus as the intercom announced Hawthorne avenue. Not wanting to bother with another bus, I walked the remaining distance to my sister’s house.

And that was just the first time I got lost.

This post ended up being longer than I anticipated, so coming Sunday– the Lost Bethany Chronicles, Part 2.

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  1. December 31st, 2012

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