Mayday mayhem

First off, I was wide awake and wired at 2am for absolutely no reason. Then next thing I know it’s 11am. I was hoping to be out of the apartment by 10am, but I didn’t even leave the building until sometime after noon.

I hate eating lunch this late in the day, but here I was standing in a ginormous line at Subway at 1:15 in the afternoon. I get to the counter, order and when I get to the register the woman at the counter tells me my sandwich was $6.35.

I check my wallet. I had EXACTLY $6 on me, and since I’m still paying off my exploratory trip to Florida from last month (which I haven’t gotten around to writing up yet, sorry) so I don’t have available credit to throw about, but she insisted “$6.35 is $6.35 I will not take $6 – you must pay $6.35.”

Fine, there’s a line behind me so I can either ask everyone in it for change (which I’ve seen people do before) or bite it and hope it goes through. It did which I’m paying for it later, but as I take my sandwich from the counter she yells “you forgot drink.”

I appreciate the effort, but “I didn’t order a drink.”

“Yes, you did. I ask ‘you want drink?’ You said ‘yah.’”

“No, I didn’t. I couldn’t possibly have said ‘yah’ to a question you didn’t ask me.”

“Whatever, I charge you for drink, and you PAID for it so you must take it. Have a nice day,” she added almost as a taunt. Ironically enough as she said that, the guy behind rolled his eyes, shook his head and I swore I heard him call me a “fucking imbecile” under his breath.

I check my receipt: “6 inch sandwich, combo meal, plus tax, $6.35.”

I scan the room, there is only one open table and it’s the one directly across from the register. Awkward – especially since she makes it a point to ask her upsell in a really loud voice adding “well, I ‘have’ to ask people before I give them drinks” which makes people turn and look at me derisively.

I ignore them and keep reminding myself that this day was only beginning. Besides, I was told to “have a nice day,” and I was determined to follow through on it. I finished eating as quickly as I could and made my way four blocks to the subway station. I didn’t really have much money on my smartcard, but I know from experience that putting $2 into the machine would attract undo attention to myself (the sound of the pressing its buttons reverberates throughout the station, as does the sound of change hitting the catch).

I can hear a train as I approach the gates to go down to the platform level. I hurry around the corner and down the stairs just to find out that the train is going “eastbound” (or “southbound” in local vernacular) so I exhausted myself for nothing. Fortunately, the right train came just as I beginning to catch my breath, and a woman sitting by the door even offered me the seat next to her. See this wasn’t so bad after all?

I’ve said it before on this blog, but it bears repeating: I hate the design of Mondawmin station. It’s too narrow with only ONE escalator in each direction making use of the “up” escalator nearly impossible – particularly if two trains come at once. There is a set of stairs at the far end of the station, but you still end up in the same bottleneck caused by all the people on the escalator also trying to leave the station – again using only two escalators usually with panhandlers waiting at the top of them (though to be fair, all I saw there today was two cops so I guess that’s progress).

Obviously, my first stop was the ATM. I only know of such machine at Mondawmin Mall (though their directory lists three), and there was a long, slow-moving line there as well as the machine didn’t seem to be functioning properly as I stood there sweating through my shirts waiting for the people in front of me to finish. Oddly, I went up to the machine, inserted my card and had my cash in less than a minute – even weirder no-one cornered me and guilted me into giving them money as they often at this location so that’s another positive.

Technically, the Target at Mondawmin Mall is an outparcel, but the store directory lists it an anchor. I’ve been inside said store and it’s definitely an outparcel (but still better than fighting the crowds at Wegmens). Fortunately, the store wasn’t too horrible today, but the frozen food aisle was in a bit of disarray.

I was able to use an abandoned cart to check if my items fit in the bag (singular) I brought with me. They did, but I couldn’t decide if I should put one or both V8 Splash back or not. They fit so I decided to keep them even though they took up a lot of space and made the bag really heavy.

I unpacked my bag and went over to checkout. From what I could tell, there were only four lanes open, but the lines weren’t as bad as I had expected. I put my baskets on the belt while waiting for the woman in front of me to finish paying.

The cashier rolls her belt again, and mumbles something. I was afraid it might have been “empty your baskets,” but I wasn’t sure.

“I said ‘empty your baskets,’” she said. Well, I scramble to unpack them in the right order so she could fit everything in their neatly. She scans the items and chucks them into the bag randomly (good thing I didn’t have eggs or glass containers). This time I did have money so there was no argument there, but I did have to rearrange my bag in the cafe after picking up my Frappuccino (which despite the somewhat slow service wasn’t too bad).

I tried finding another store in the mall by following the vague overhead directions, but I must have missed it somehow so I simply shrugged and went back to the station. The overhead display said it was 3:05pm. I don’t generally like taking the train this late because it starts getting into school and work commuters. In fact, there was already a group of girls on the platform level still in their uniforms (same basic style, but different colors\patterns – one green, one grey camo and one pink).

Then a man in a wheelchair approaches me, I braced myself for another heartbreaking panhandler story but instead he asked me “which side is State Center?” The reason this is disconcerting to me is: I’ve ridden this train line for 5 yrs now, and I still don’t know which side goes where until the train actually arrives. I know I should, but I don’t.

It’s a long uphill climb from State Center to the top of Bolton Hill, and my hands were sore from carrying that large, heavy bag the entire way. However, I got back to the apartment without much incident, opened the door and put my bag on the counter. As I turned around to put the mail down, I heard a loud “BLA-BLA-BLAM-SPLOOSH!”

The bag had fallen off the counter. All the stuff I just bought was sprawled across the floor and the bottle of V8 Splash was splashed all over the floor. Perfect. I picked up the items most of them (except the now empty bottle of Peach Mango V8 Splash) were in relatively good condition so I put them in the freezer and took some paper towels off the rack above the sink and began sopping up the mess.

The mess cleaned up, I pull a cold coffee out of the refrigerator and go to pour it into a smaller bottle…and it sprays everywhere across the cabinets, countertop and floor. Even better, but at least the food was no longer there.

I take my 3oz of coffee and retire to my sofa. The day was finally over, and all I have to do is figure out what I’m making for dinner. Screw it, I’m ordering a pizza…

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Categories: adventures, Baltimore, metro subway | Leave a comment

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