Oy, oy, oy!
Today is one of those days. The snow is melting in the yard for which every centimeter brings me closer to life, warm sun, growing things, and the great outdoors. Living in a strange city is an adventure that has mixed blessings; Friday, food shopping day, I decide that the nearby Shaw’s is not to my liking and decide to try the Hannaford downtown. Oy, oy, oy, what an adventure! With shopping trolley at hand I rush to Forest Ave having 7 minutes to get there, which #2 bus directions tell me it should take me 10 minutes to accomplish. I need to get there by 3.59. Then there’s the business of which side of the street I should be on since I can’t tell which way is downtown. After a bit I figure out I’m on the wrong side and hustle over to the other side. I figure I’ve missed the bus by now. A woman comes over also looking to take the bus. Two minutes, she says. The bus will be here in two minutes. Twenty minutes later, the bus arrives. My feet are frozen from standing on the icy ground and my face, hands and body are not doing much better. The bus is free on this day and it is packed. The driver tells me this route is always very busy, not a vehicle to bring a shopping trolley on. One is allowed to do it, but it’s difficult maneuvering.
Is Hannaford Supermarket worth it? YES! Super, Portland had been considered a sanctuary city (Trump put an end to sanctuary cities) and has many immigrants, which Hannaford caters to with all sorts of exotic foods. I have gone there on an empty stomach and am buying, buying! Shopping in strange markets takes a long time. I go to every aisle twice, up and down to make sure I’m not missing anything. The store is huge with a variety of sections with aisles going in all directions.
I get my shopping done, forgot my shopping list so bound to have forgotten something, but have bought two 10-rides bus passes. It is now 5 o’clock. I get back to Forest Ave. with my little trolley; to take the bus back. I walk up and down but can’t find the stop at Forest Ave. and Baxter Blvd. Baxter Blvd., that sounds familiar, then it dawns on me, I’m across the street from my alma mater. Baxter Blvd. used to be my running route! USM has acquired a few new buildings since I was last there. I walk both sides of Forest Ave. looking where to connect with the bus. Ah, I see a sign; there are snow banks so I wait on the corner rather than under the sign. The bus goes right by me. It is getting late and I’m freezing, but no choice, I wait for the next bus, at least a half hour.
When the bus finally comes it’s heading downtown. I was on the wrong side of the street. I don’t care, I’m getting on I’m freezing! Yeah sure, says the bus driver, I’ll drop you off at Monument Square where you can take the 9B home. At that stop, I wait for almost an hour thoroughly frozen. Our bunch waiting at the stop looks like the huddled masses Ms. Liberty mentions. By the time I get home with my little shopping trolley it is 8:30. I head straight for the bed, to hell with the food, plunk 4 blankets on top of me and stay there a full half hour defrosting.
There’s a moral to this story, I know, but I can’t think of it. I did learn about the #2 bus route, I now know how to get to USM. Will I go back to Hannaford? Maybe, but there’s one in West Falmouth that I might try next.