Friday, September 17, 2010

You should not have to know a guy to get home at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night...

This weekend, I was stranded in the Penn Ave. Subway (irony, foreshadowing) in Wilkinsburg. My husband and I had planned on catching a ride home with our designated driver (my mother-in-law) after the Big Pour on Saturday. Last minute, we decided to walk to a nearby party with some friends, thinking we could just catch a ride home with friends, or worst case scenario, catch the 69 (there is no irony here) to Forest Hills, where we call home. (MISTAKE #1)

During our walk to the party, the skies opened and we were drenched in no time. I have a fondness for NOT sitting around in wet clothes. So upon arriving at said party, we quickly decided to catch a bus home instead. I called up the Port Authority website on my iphone, and saw a bus was coming to a stop about a mile away in 20 minutes. The party had not yet begun, so the host graciously drove us to the bus stop, saving us from trudging through the rain again. (MISTAKE #2)

We are now at the bus stop. Huddled under trees for shelter. Waiting. WAITING. WAAIITTTING. Our Big Pour buzzes are now completely gone. I am cold. My husband is hungry. And we are both going to have to pee again. I check the bus schedule again, all like, "WTF. Where is this freaking bus!?" Guess what? I was reading a WEEKDAY schedule. You apparently are not allowed to ride public transit on weekends.

Desperate for a way home, I call a friend who lives nearby. They were out for the evening.

Not sure what else to do, we look up taxi services on our phones and begin calling each one. Between the four cab companies, they all either had busy signals, no answer, or said they were out of cabs. This is where I notice a 67A approaching the bus stop. Thinking only of getting out of the rain, we board without hesitation. This bus does not go through Forest Hills, so we planned to ride until Wilkinsburg.

On the way to Wilkinsburg, I called the host of the party were supposed to go to earlier that night. I was hoping my friend would come rescue us. Unfortunately, by that time, he had already started drinking pretty heavily and was in no condition to drive.

We got off the bus at Penn and Braddock and attempted to seek shelter in Wendy's. It was closed. Not sure what else to do, we make our way towards Subway, which appeared to be open. I think I heard angels singing when we saw it was open until midnight.

I walk inside, so relieved to be out of the rain, but still unsure of how I would get home. I am not proud of this, my dear readers. I began to weep in Subway. The kindly sandwich artisan (or whatever the hell they call those people) took pity upon me and my husband and said we could hang out in there until we could figure out a way home. I explained our situation and said we couldn't even get a cab. The kindly sandwich people then told us, "You can't wait for a cab! You'll be here for hours! You gotta call a jitney! I know a guy. He'll definitely be able to get you to Forest Hills."

I may be a lil' white girl, but I was ready to call that jitney. I have to pause and reflect on this for a moment, though. Why do I need to KNOW A GUY to get home at 10 p.m. on a Saturday? Is this Mayberry? What is going on with this city and the transit situation?

Back to our story, my husband decided to call his mom and tell her what was going down. She much preferred to drive out to get us than have us call a jitney, so we waited the 45 minutes for her to drive in from the North Hills, (all the while eating BMTs and relieving our tired bladders at Subway).

We finally got home around 11:30 p.m. soaked, forlorn, and sure as hell we will never make the mistake of counting on bus or taxi service on a weekend EVER AGAIN. Pittsburgh, is a great city, that is for sure. But "gettin' around" is the Burgh's biggest blemish, in my opinion.


Jess B-Dubs said...

glad you learned your lesson with weekend public transportation in da 'burgh. you seem smart enough (kinda) to never make the same mistake twice. sorry i wasn't home when you called! and you totally should have taken a jitney. it's an experience. you probably would have spent $25 on a 2 mile ride, but that's the price you pay for "knowing a guy."

MsDarkstar said...

"jitney"... huh, I never knew that had a name.

I visited Jamaica once and when we went out with our tour guide (my pen-pal) we took a jitney. We were in this car with like 6 other people and it was a tiny car but the fare was VERY reasonable (especially since we offered to pay $USD not Jamaican currency).

Hillary said...

Vancouver may have it flaws (says the lady who was in a convenience store AS IT WAS ROBBED last night) but at least it's got a sufficient public transit system. As long as you don't live in the suburbs. And don't plan on staying out later than 1am.

I'm glad you got home alright-ish. I OX you.

Melissa Maris said...

I would have cried too. There's nothing worst than being stuck. In the middle of the night. When you're wet. Shoot, any of those independent of each other is bad. I'm glad you have relatives around to help in times like this! ;)

Katy said...

i would have totally wept! but i also would have braved the jitney. my friend big perm was a total evangelist for jitneys until she moved to denver. she jitneyed to my house in morningside all the time, even had a business card for the "guy" she knew.

i agree without question, though, that the public transit system is very broken in our city. unless you live in a hip neighborhood, you have no feasible way to get around without your own car, ESPECIALLY on a sunday

angelasw said...

Call it a bonding experience and laugh about it together? Later...

terra said...

Pretty sure I would have cried too at that point too. Glad you finally made it home!

Meg said...

As Hillary said, Vancouver's public transit is fairly decent. Except I live in the suburbs right now. And I like stayng out later than 1 am (or 11, if I want to catch the bus all the way home, and not walk from the train!).
Glad you made it home eventually!!

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P said...

Oh, I just HATE being stranded anywhere but at least you weren't alone. :)