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Today, I took the train to work for the first time.  I had my route all planned out and was so excited to utilize L.A.’s glamorous public transportation system.  The best part of it all is that I can walk from my house to the train station, then walk from the train station to work.  It will be about 3 miles of walking all together which I am especially jazzed about because its a good way to build some exercise into my normal routine.

This morning, I got up early, excited to start my walk to the train station.  It was invigorating to begin my walk in the early morning mist.  I caught the train right away, and even made my connection at the more sketchy train station.  I made it to my stop without event (unless you count the homeless man at the station who shouted at me a la Joey Tribioni, “Hey girl!  How you doin”?”) and proceeded my walk to work from the station.  This was the part I was feeling most nervous about, as it is the most adventurous part of the trip.  Only a .8 mile stretch, its a straight shot to work, with plenty of charm (read: stray dogs, teenagers, and early morning loiterers) along the way.  This morning, I confidently started walking in the direction I thought I was supposed to go.  I remember consulting my carefully googled directions and it had said proceed toward 112th street.  So I chose a direction, observed a 116th street sign and sighed relief when I noticed that the street numbers were going down.  I walked at a brisk pace and was engrossed in watching the high school students walk to school all around me.  They greeted each other with hugs and high fives, and I got to thinking what it was like when I was in high school.  Distracted by memories, I lost track of how far I had been walking.  I had passed the high school and started wondering when I would arrive at my own school.

Finally, I realized I may have walked in the wrong direction.  I was in a really sketchy area and I knew I needed a plan.  Thankfully, I came across two J Dubs standing on the corner with their witnessing materials.  “Is it this way to my street?” I asked.  The older woman looked at me and exclaimed, “Oh no honey!  Its a ways back that way”.  I had done it.  I turned the wrong way back at the train station (another look at my directions later revealed that I had remembered the street number wrong, I was actually supposed to walk toward 118th street!).  When I asked what time it was and they told me it was already 8:00, I knew I had walked really far out of my way.  Now I had another dilemma.  Do I take out my iPhone right here on the corner of ghetto and crazy to call my coworkers?  On the total down low, within sight of the kind witnessers, I called work.  One of my sweet coworkers offered to come and pick me up and I waited in front of a grocery store nearby.  To give you an idea of the area I was in, during the course of my five minute wait I saw a woman in a full nightgown park in a handicapped spot then literally run into the store.  Then another man pulled up to the curb, left his hoopty’s car engine running, and climbed out the passenger window before strutting into the store.  I was on the verge of breakdown when my coworker pulled up.  I had made myself keep it together until my coworker arrived, and I planned on breaking down in tears the minute I jumped into the safety of her car’s passenger seat.  Instead, I opened her car door and she was cracking up.  Like full on laughing.  I started laughing too and realized that the choice to laugh at myself and this mishap was so much more fun than crying about it.

I got to work safely and googled how far away I was.  I had walked exactly 2 miles into the ‘hood.  It might sound crazy, but Im still looking forward to trying again tomorrow!

3 Responses to “Misadventures on Public Transportation”

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