The things one does for shopping!July 6, 2017 in the United States
I was hoping today's post would be nice and simple; I went shopping at Woodbury Common, by myself and had a lovely day." But alas, it was not to be.
We started the morning rushed and cranky after a very bad night's sleep and an early morning visitor in our bed (Adalia). Plus, the bus company we booked to take me shopping asked me to meet them across town instead of their advertised pickup location which was around the corner from our hotel, their reason being traffic?! Surely there is always traffic.
We needed to catch the subway across town and waited on the wrong platform for a long time before a train conductor advised us of our mistake. We ran to the right one, jumped on board, ran up to the pick up location and waited. After waiting ten minutes past the arranged time of 9:12am I called the company who greeted my call with "don't call me call the driver!" They shouted a number at me and hung up. No hello, no goodbyes.
I dialled the drivers number and an auto message informed me "this person has not set up their inbox at this time".
Getting frustrated we called the original number again which answered and hung up! Things were not looking good at all. I wish I had counted my losses and gone home.
Tom continued calling the only number we had while I entertained the kids who were literally running rings around me. I was stressed and cranky when tom yelled "across the road, run." So into oncoming traffic we ran, and tom pushed me towards a van with an open door. I got into the front seat of a filthy van and had to sit on one of those gross beaded car seat covers. TOm asked where I would be dropped off in the afternoon to which the driver shrugged and said "no English".
The moment I closed my door the driver took off, cutting off cars and driving through red lights. Only we weren't getting anywhere, we were literally driving in circles. After nearly an hour he took a turn to Queens, then once in queens he pulled over, popped the boot, sat on the edge of the boot and started smoking.
There were two other passengers in the car who were from a country ending in Stan, cuzbecastan? They were just as concerned as i was and asked the driver what was happening. The driver shrugged again and shook his head. The man from Stan used google translate to try and assertion what was going on. To this the driver laughed (!) and said 4 and used 4 fingers. What the heck did this mean?! We decided that maybe four more passengers were coming?
After half an hour I was really getting worried, the driver wasn't doing anything. The man from Stan got out to try and call someone who could give us some answers, while he was out of the car, the driver started driving with the doors open! The wife of the man from Stan tried to jump out of the moving vehicle but the driver started yelling at her in Chinese and stopped driving. both the woman and I jumped out of the van as quickly as we could. Once we were out of the van, the driver started removing all of his identification from the dash board and windows. I was on the verge of tears and working out my escape route. The man from Stan stopped me from going. He had learned from his phone call that a bus was picking us up in ten minutes. Ten minutes past, twenty minutes past, the driver continued smoking, it was raining and we had all had it! The man from Stan spotted a police officer and went and got him. The officer came over and started yelling at the driver, no polite chit chat or questioning, just straight to yelling. It was all getting so bad. If I knew exactly where I was or where to go I would have run! The driver was yelling back at the officer in Chinese and hitting his phone on the steering wheel of the car. Nothing was really resolved, all that happened was the Chinese driver had called his boss and let the man from Stan talk with her. However after another ten minutes had past and still no bus, the man asked if he could call her again and the chinese driver laughed and said "no way".
Suddenly a black minibus arrived, its side door opened and we were pushed in. I thought for a moment we were being kidnapped. The bus took off before I had sat in my seat and drove at breakneck speed. No one said anything to us, the driver just drove flat out. I've been to Woodbury common once before so I eventually recognised landmarks and could slightly relax, but I was still fearful we would crash.
By the time we arrived at Woodbury common in was 12pm. It normally takes one hour to get there pending traffic. I got off the bus and tears started flowing. There was no way I was going home with those people.
I tried to enjoy my day but I was so upset and just wanted to go home.
I bought some of things I was after, bought another bus ticket and was home in one hour and fifteen minutes, on a bus driving slowly!
I gave tom and the kids a big hug, discovered that Sammy was still quite sick, then took the family to sushi for dinner and heard about their day at the Intrepid museum.Read more