Another Visit to D.C.

Drawing the line, second round. Protesting
20190916 00110b 7-1/2 minutes.

Well – my day was definitely different from what was expected!

Yes, I did go to pay my fine. And yes, I returned. Thank you, Womens’ March, for the tickets. However –

This time I was no longer a neophyte. I was experienced! Bin there, done that! I took a big brimmed hat, flip-flops but wore sneakers, and wore a light-weight cotton tunic, to cope with the sun, with plenty of cover-ups for the freezing bus ride back, and because my phone was AWOL, my computer (I could leave it on the bus as I had my carry-on bag last time.) Not understanding that MegaBus is a regular commercial bus, I couldn’t leave my computer on the bus and had to lug it around with me all day. The WiFi on the bus didn’t work, so all the emails after 7 p.m from the previous night, which gave details of tickets, schedules, and meeting places etc., arrived the next day. A day late.

It takes me at least an hour to get into the Big City from home. Add at least half an hour for parking and getting to the meeting point, and half an hour for mishaps, plus an hour for getting up and out of the door, meant I should get up at 3 a.m. for a 6 o’clock bus.

It took an extra unscheduled half hour to find the parking lot. Round and round the block, up and down the Avenues and across the Streets and back. Of course, by the time I found it and walked to the MegaBus place, our bus was long gone, and my tickets with it! A two hour wait gave the nice man there time to find me in their Big Brother computer, after I finally came up with the correct E-mail address for the ticket, and he let me go on the 8 a.m. bus. Wonderful.

Same thing happened on the return trip but I arrived at 4.30 p.m. for the 5 o’clock bus, so finally caught the 6 o’clock one back. Was anyone else on it from the group? It was interesting!

Anyway, I found the U.S.C.P., paid my fine and was thumb-printed. Sorry I missed the demonstration. Would’ve enjoyed it.

Then I had a few hours in D.C. before the return bus. I dithered, sitting in the shade of a kindly tree, and finally figured a tour-bus ride round the city would use the time most profitably. So I sat on the unshaded-top of a tour bus, for too long. When I realized I was in imminent danger of throwing-up I moved downstairs, just about in time. I threw my bags onto the empty luggage space, and myself with them. People around me began to realize I wasn’t operating on all cylinders and found me a seat: one or maybe two cylinders was maximum. The other riders were very nice and suggested an ambulance. Although it was still very hot downstairs, I declined but agreed that a taxi back to Union Station might be in order. A cab was following the bus so they hailed it and escorted me to it.

The poor cab driver nearly had conniptions when he realized I was in imminent danger of defiling his beautiful cab. But the traffic was hardly moving. He was only worried about his cab and wanted me to get out right there and would’ve been happy to leave me at the side of the road in the blazing sunshine! When I asked if there were restrooms anywhere nearby, he almost had a fit. Eventually he left me off the other side of the circle in front of the station and I had to make my way across the almost stationary traffic, and along the building but at last in the shade. Eventually I found the restaurant at the entrance to the station and the nice person I asked said their restroom was at the back and showed me where. I made it and survived! Still not on many cylinders, but I survived.

When I eventually but unsteadily made my way to the MegaBus station, lugging my blasted unuseful computer in my shoulder bag, I had the same problem with the ticket, but again they finally found me in the system. I watched as the 5 p.m. bus left, but got on the next one. By then I was ready to eat again, breakfast had been around 3 a.m., so that was probably contributing to my malaise. With plenty of time to spare, I found a Sbarro and bought some mac/cheese which settled my tummy. I was coming back to life!

My stable-mate on the bus left a lot to be desired. He was curious as to why the driver had to keep stopping for phone calls “from his base.” I suggested that meant his boss but he thought that meant his wife! I could understand why. He was a big guy and quite intelligent but not sensible enough not to try to encroach his legs, hands and arms on my space. Eventually I had to disengage his arm and hand from my leg and I put it back on his leg. It was heavy and limp. I was unimpressed.

After the last unscheduled stop, when the bus pulled into a service area, not only off the road as before, the driver said something about running up against federal time limits and we were offered the chance to transfer to another bus if we had nothing in the luggage compartment. Luckily I had kept my computer with me, so could comply. I would’ve liked to know the fate of the original driver but decided my day had been long and eventful enough and getting home should take priority.

We got into New York soon after 1 a.m. and I finally arrived home an hour later, fed the cat, had a long drink of milk, and slept until after 9 a.m.

Thank you, Women’s March, for organizing a crazy day for me. It’ll certainly go down in the annals of the “Unusual.” Now I’m bathed, clean, fed, and ready to go again! When’s the next one?!