I had a lovely Christmas break. Once we got that pesky holiday out of the way, it was truly a magical and fantastic communion with my family and my home city. My bank statement reads like a laundry list of Tacoma's finer teriyaki joints (with all other transactions involving some kind of booze purchase) and my camera runneth over with cute pictures of the Beloved Little Ones. Once I managed to get out of Salt Lake, it was a rather idyllic visit. But just as visits are nice, it is also nice to come home to see what's in your mailbox and how dead your plants are and what your thesis chair has done to your draft (I have not checked any of those things yet).
We arrived in Salt Lake about ten minutes late. Usually Southwest flights are kinda fun and cheerful, in large part due to the staff. But tonight, man, we had these two dudes running the show-- straight dudes-- and they were, I kid you not, the most non-plussed stewards ever-- they were surprisingly all business and quite vigilent about not using your iPod during the descent. So that was weird, but whatever, right? I was still riding high on the beer and Lifesavers (I haven't had them in forever and they were amazing!) and Vogue magazine I'd acquired at Seatac.
So then we land, and then we wait on the tarmac for ten minutes because the other plane at the gate hasn't pulled out yet. NO BIG DEAL, right? (that was my best effort at foreshadowing right there). Then everyone goes to carosel one and bags start coming and nobody's pipcking up their bags, and this goes on for like forever before we are told that in spite of the screen showing our bags being at carosel one, they are just starting to come up and my bags were naturally, nearly last. Ok, so I'm a mite josseled by this but whatever, I'm going to go pop on the bus and then the TRAX and then come home to my cozy warm den of smiling Chinese roommates. I decide against taking the shuttle because really, I can ride UTA for free and what do I really have to do to tonight and really, really, I could spend that same wad of cash on a feast at Bombay Kitchen tomorrow (I can't wait). And really, seeing how much money I pissed away last year when I looked at my annual expenditures I felt a mite resolutionish about spending more smartly. So I go to wait for the bus.
I am an experienced rider of public transportation to the airport but had not included into the equation:
1. I usually never check a bag and tonight I had two checked bags.
2. Busses run with less frequency at night.
3. It was twenty degrees outside.
4. It was twenty degrees outside.
I mean really, all I had were visions of chicken tikka masala and onion naan and maybe even some saagwala and definitely some of that mint chutney (which makes it a Star of India fantasy) and they might have, maybe, gotten in the way of my judgment. BECAUSE WHEN IS INDIAN CUISINE EVER A BAD DECISION? Ok, so anyways, I go outside to discover:
1. The bus just came five minutes ago.
2. It's twenty degrees outside
3. There is really no warm waiting area that isn't blocking a doorway and isn't miles away from where the busses pickup.
And I'm like, "well, what's 45minutes? I don't have any big plans!" And about ten minutes in I'm like "why didn't I just ask somebody for a ride?" but at this point it's snowing and cold and I'm like you know, hellbent on being cheap and self-sufficient so I wait and wait and wait and eventually my fingertips shrivel up but really, the bus will come at 7:50-- I landed at 6:20-- so I just sat there hanging out because it didn't feel absurd at the time but in retrospect, WTF, MELANIE?! Anyways, the bus didn't come and then it finally did come at 8:00 and finally, somehow, someway, after it meandered all the effing way around the periphery of downtown, I got to the TRAX station and got on the wrong train but then I got on the right train and then I get to my stop and I'm like, "yeah! I did this!" and then I proceeded to pull my luggage through the accumulating inches of snow to the bike elevator, because really, who wants to pull 60+ pounds of dirty clothes and whatever up three flights of stairs?
I get in the bike elevator, relieved. I am so close, just a ten minute walk away! I push the button. I'd been steeling myself for this to happen because I thought if I did, it wouldn't happen, but no, really, the bike elevator went nowhere and finally, finally I start to yell obsenities because the door won't open to let me back out. And then it did, and I began my long brusing ascent of the stairs. I look forward to seeing the polka-dotted evidence of my battering attempt on my legs and hips tomorrow.
I made it to the bridge. I felt aggitatedly exultant, pulling my luggage along the unshoveled sidewalks in the truly courageous fashion of a Mormon handcart pioneer. Ahead loomed a slower walk than expected and I was kind of reaching that point of just moving, like the time I got dumped and determined that the only thing to kill the pain would be to go running for two hours when I hadn't been training that much-- just one of those instances when you just check out and move. Anyways, I decide that the uphill walk will be easier if I walk backwards (what can I say, I want a tight butt) and who do I see but my favorite, seriously FAVORITE of the Chinese classmates-- this is the guy that speaks the best English and is the group leader and is just so stinking nice to me (rather than trying to get me drunk or telling me that eating chicken feet will improve my skin)-- and he offers to pull one of my bags and together we walked back.
As it turned out, all of his buddies had taken the shuttle back from their class but he chose to walk, LUCKY ME! So my Chinese Savior and I chatted as we traversed the snowed over sidewalks. My roommates greeted me with big smiles and a loud welcome and really, everything worked out in the end even though it seemed so dramatic at the time.
I'm going to go take a bath.