The day finally comes and I’m ready to go. I’ve got my bus details, maps, landmarks, basically anything I’ll need to get to this place without getting lost. I go to my bus stop 15 minutes early to be safe, and I get on the bus. I’ve given myself plenty of time to get there plus an extra 45 minutes or so, just in case.
So I climb aboard the bus, tell the driver where I’m going, and take a seat not far from him. I’m way too concerned about missing my stop to even think about reading or listening to music. Even though I know it’s a 35 minute drive, I spend the entire time staring out of the windows looking out for the landmarks I’d noted down that will alert me when I’m getting close to my destination.
**45 minutes later…**
Inwardly I’m freaking out. I haven’t spotted any of my landmarks, the bus driver hasn’t said anything, I’ve been on the bus for a while and I don’t even recognise the town names on the road signs anymore, but I’m one of those people whose brain seems to slip smoothly into denial when things go badly. Something deep down in me believes that if you just deny the mishap, it hasn’t happened and things will be ok! (I also take this approach to colds. I firmly believe that one can deny a cold away.) Because of this charming quality of mine, I sit there in my seat for a little longer. The landmarks will appear. Eventually…Right? Ugh crap.
So I approach the bus driver and ask him if we’ve passed my stop and he replied “Oh, I forgot about you.” He pulls up at the next stop and tells me to cross the road and catch a bus going back. I ask him how long it will take to get back to my stop and he tells me 15-20 minutes (UGH, CRAP!)
I cross the road, and there is a bus due in a couple of minutes. At this point I have exactly 20 minutes until my appointment, so I might be ok. The minutes tick by and the bus doesn’t appear so, trying to keep myself together, I pull out my phone to call the place and tell them that I’m running late. Well, I would tell them that if somebody would answer the phone. Oh, no voicemail machine? AWESOME. Call back. No Answer. Call back. No answer. Call back. No answer. Still no bus. Call back. No answer.
This continues for another 15 minutes, and I started to cry around 10 minutes ago. I’m depending on this and if they think I’m not coming then they might cancel my appointment and it took me so long to finally get this one and who knows how long it would take to get another one if they think I didn’t show up to this one and…before I know it, I’m more than halfway to complete meltdown. Then just as I look up to see if there’s anything around that I can punch, I see the bus approaching in the distance. I call the reception desk one more time and finally somebody answers. I can breathe again! Kind of. I tell the lady that I’m lost and she asks me where I am to which I somehow manage to reply un-sarcastically, “Erm…I’m not sure.” I tell her that I won’t be more than 10 minutes late and then climb aboard the bus, expressly requesting that the bus driver tell me when we get to my stop. I stand right next to his little booth the entire way, so as not to be forgotten again. It works, and around 15 minutes later I’m climbing off the bus and heading in the right direction.
Thankfully the centre is much closer to the stop than Google maps made it out to be. I don’t even have time to finish a whole cigarette! I do stop for a few seconds outside the centre to take a few extra drags though – it has been a stressful journey, and I’m hiding behind a bush so the reception lady I spoke to can’t see me dawdling, obviously.
Then into the building I go…
To Be Continued…