Thursday, September 08, 2011

A few happy things

I came home from work today with dinner ready. My Handsome Roommate made these delicious rice paper rolls. They were delicious, filling, and I bet they were pretty healthy.

I went on a walk on my lunch break today. I haven't gone on a walk from work well, ever. I've only walked to PSU after work, but I've never walked around the neighborhood. It was like discovering a new world. I had never gone farther, in one direction, than the end of our block, so I imagined just a black hole after that block, or maybe the edge of the world where, if you kept going, you'd fall off and hopefully land on the back of a giant turtle. When my co-workers talked about a great coffeeshop, better than the one next door, just a few blocks down in that direction, I would just blink uncomprehendingly at them. So then my image switched from a black hole of nothingness to a black hole with a magical coffeeshop in the midst of it. Like there was nothingness, and suspended in mid-nothingness-air was a tiny sliver of sidewalk upon which was perched a coffeeshop with beams of rainbow light radiating all around it.

I found the magical coffeeshop, although I didn't go in this time (too hot), and also LOTS AND LOTS OF HILLS.

This is exciting because I have upped my goal of a 1/2 hour+ walk each day to a 1/2 hour+ walk each day that includes at least one hill. When I'm pressed for time, which has been the norm lately, I just go straight up one street by my house to the top of a hill and turn around and go home. No time for sightseeing. Now, it's getting dark so much earlier that it's hard for me to even fit in my quick hill walk.

And now I have my new work lunch break hill walk. With many, many hills for me to explore, instead of just one. I am so excited.

And finally, I walked to Safeway to get some bus tickets. All summer, I'd been able to use a student bus pass, but it expired on the 31st and the new one won't be available until the 12th. (Dumb.) I've been either scraping together change, because TriMet only accepts exact change, or driving to work when I want an extra twenty minutes in bed and/or can't find any change. (I actually hoarded change when I lived in my other apartment, sorted it by type into empty film canisters, and even divided up a few film canisters' worth of bus fare, all ready to go.) Traffic has been stupid. And hot. I don't want to sit in Friday rush hour tomorrow. Rush hour today was so hot and stupid that I finally got up the ambition to walk to Safeway and buy bus passes.

There was no one at customer service for a good ten minutes, and a bum cut in front of me on line, and a guy was rude to me because it apparently was taking me too long to buy my tickets, but other than that, it was a successful trip because I got a book of ten. (More than I need, but they don't expire.)

The Safeway only had one-zone tickets. I thought, "Well, actually, I do live in Zone One, don't I, because the bus driver never makes any announcement about changing zones, and I have been riding the bus for months now without hearing it."

The Safeway employees insisted I needed two-zone tickets. They were sure I was traveling in two zones. I said, "Aren't we in Zone 1 right now?" "I don't know, I drive now!" said one. Another said, "Yeah, Zone 2 doesn't start for (another twenty or thirty blocks in the direction opposite of that which I travel to work.)

Still, two of the three insisted I needed a two-zone ticket. What should have tipped me off is that when I said I got on the bus at a specific numbered avenue and Broadway, the street that Safeway is on, they looked at me like I had ten heads. As they were repeating to me slowly yet kindly, as though I were a likeable imbecile, the impatient man behind me called out, "Well, I'd like a book of 10 one-zone tickets!"

I didn't realize he was actually cutting in front of me until he reached around me to swipe his card through the credit card machine.

One of the kind Safeway ladies said, "You know what you can do, you can buy these tickets and then just add a nickel when you get on the bus for a two-zone ticket. They'll let you do that!" She beamed at me, and so did her co-worker.

"Okay," I said slowly, tiredly. I was confused because I was pretty darn sure I live and work in Zone 1. Also, it was hot. Also, if I really needed to add a nickel, then I was in trouble because the whole reason I was buying tickets at Safeway in the first place was because I had been failing to locate any nickels each morning.

"Okay? So you just add a nickel when you get on the bus," one of the ladies repeated.

"Yeah! What a brilliant concept!" said the impatient man snarkily, as he grabbed his tickets and dashed out of the store.

The heat had made me so tired, it was not until a few minutes later that I slowly formed the thought, "Was that man being rude?"

I should have known. It's Thursday. I have not finished telling you why yet, but a month ago I discovered that I need to stop running errands on Thursdays.

Anyway, long story short--or at least, less long--on my way home I decided to walk past my bus stop and look at the signs posted.

It is in Zone 1.

I went home and decided to check, just to be sure, that the stop by my office is also in Zone 1.

It is in Zone 1!

So, I don't know what the Safeway ladies were talking about, and I could be disappointed that I have been overpaying by a whole nickel every time I've taken the bus all of the times I didn't have a bus pass, but instead I am thrilled that not only will my book of tickets work, but I also get to save a nickel now every time I take the bus! Hooray!

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