On my next day out during my eye surgery trip, I ended up in a transit…situation.
To set timelines, remember that surgery was Friday, I stayed in on Saturday, I went to church and brunch with my friend on Sunday, I had a lovely day out on Monday at the Intrepid and The Daily Show, and I stayed in to relax and give my eyes a nice, easy day on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, I was off again, this time to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
I spent over 2 hours there and saw some really good exhibits of art from different eras in American history, but at the end of it I didn’t feel anything, which was surprising since I like art and I like museums. I explored all of the open floors of the museum (some areas were closed for renovation) and felt….nothing.
I still don’t understand why I reacted to the museum the way I did. Many of the pieces were beautiful and I expected that I would have felt some kind of connection to at least some of the pieces, but it just never happened.
Finally, after a desperation museum cafe latte (it was blech, I should know better by now), I decided that it was time to go. I didn’t know it but my timing was impeccable for a mini-adventure.
I exited the museum and walked back to the nearby subway station from where I intended to take a train then the bus back home. I sat through two stops on the train before the mini-adventure was off to a start. The train conductor announced that the train’s route was changing to some place I didn’t want to go to. Puzzled, I and a lot of people got off the train and, a couple of minutes later, got on another newly arrived train, ready to continue our respective journeys. After a couple of moments of no movement, the conductor of that train announced that this train was also changing routes. We all got off again and people started cursing. As we stood there waiting for another train to come along, an announcement was made that no trains were going along the route we needed because the police had closed down a station a couple of stops ahead.
I immediately WhatsApp’d Auntie, who works for the transit authority, to tell her what was happening and ask her what my best alternative was – thank God for free wifi in New York City subway stations! While I awaited Auntie’s response, another announcement came telling us stuck passengers to exit the platform, get a transfer voucher from the station agent, and take a particular number bus that would get us to where our train had been headed in the first place. There was an orderly scramble to exit the platform, I got my voucher and exited to the bus stop, just as Auntie messaged me a couple of options, including the one the announcement had recommended. I positioned myself at the bus stop in just the right way, it turned out. Hundreds of people were exiting the station needing to get on the buses that were coming but I got on the second one by the skin of my teeth. Three people got on after me and two of them had to get off again because the bus was so packed that the air brakes wouldn’t release since it was too heavy to move.
Meanwhile, people got impatient. For the next thirty minutes or so as the bus made its way up the street, people seemed particularly short-tempered because of the inconvenience. They cursed out the bus driver and hurled expletives at each other like nobody’s business. And in my mind, all I could think was, “Why?” The transit authority had no control over the situation and had presented a reasonable solution. Yes, the journey took longer by bus than it would have by train, but that route was impassable so what other options were there?
As we rode along, I saw scores of people who had left the train station walking in the direction of our destination because all the buses that were coming along were so full that they weren’t picking up anymore passengers. At our first several stops, people could only get off because we were crammed in there so tight.
Eventually, space started freeing up and people started calming down and shutting up. I got off the bus at the right stop and transferred to the regular bus that would drop me off 2 blocks from home. When I finally got there, I was relieved that the day was pretty much over, even though I was still happy for my mini-adventure (because, why not?).
On Thursday, I went for my final eye checkup (better than 20/20 vision!) and I stayed in again on Friday. Late Saturday morning, I was off on the trod back to Jamaica.
My quick jaunt to get new vision had been a roaring success because I had great experiences all around. What a brilliant start to the year!