On Saturday, we took a trip into the city to meet with some people Crunchy husband used to work with for lunch. Like many trips before it, we drove to the North Greenwich tube station so that we could leave the car and take public transportation the rest of the way. (If the trains were faster and cheaper, we wouldn’t need the car at all!) Oyster cards in hand, we dodged rain drops and buses and ran into the station, only to find we were soon to be on one of those buses because of engineering works on the Jubilee line.
First transportation hiccup – not a problem. We’ve been there before. It took us much longer to get into central London, but we had plenty of time to get to the restaurant. What we didn’t realize was that our true transportation adventure would happen on the way back out.
7:15pm. We get back to the car. I look at my watch and think, good we’ll be home by 8:15pm. That’s not too late of a dinner. Then I try to start the engine. Which, you know without me telling you, doesn’t start. We call the AA (automobile association) and they’re going to call us back within the next hour to let us know what’s happening.
8:00pm. The nice lady calls us to let us know that someone should be with us within the next hour. I roll back my chair and prepare myself for a nice little nappy nap.
8:30pm. I’m getting cold. I also have to pee.
8:45pm. I am starting to feel impatient at sitting in a cold, rainy parking lot. Crunchy husband’s tired and not too talkative. I’m bored.
8:50pm. I decide to bite the bullet and do it. I buy the £1 bundle on my phone so that I can access the internet for the next 3 hours ten minutes. Heck, it’s cheaper than at the airport, right? I figure I might be able to learn some football news that will cheer Crunchy husband up.
9:00pm. Crunchy husband calls the AA again to find out where our man is. He’s stuck in traffic and won’t be there for another hour.
9:05pm. I decide to get wet and go search out a bathroom. (The toilets in the station are closed, but luckily there are public restrooms in the Millennium Dome.)
9:45pm. Not much happening on the email or Facebook, and I can’t find a way to access my Google Reader, but look, here’s that funny picture of my friend Andy as a camp director for Halloween! Nice legs, sport!
10:00pm. Our man arrives, but he’s not actually a tow truck driver, only a contractor they’ve sent out to see if he could get the car started. He couldn’t. Duh. So we call AA again (or again, again) to arrange for a tow home. We also realize after having made the call that we will have to get our car to the parking lot entrance because the tow truck will be too tall to enter under the gate.
10:15pm. We push our car out of its parking spot, and crazy driver number 1 makes herself known. We’re out of the spot, but still in front of it at an angle, and this chick starts to try to park! It would have been really funny if it were not such a stupid example at how impatient and oblivious people are. She’d back in at an angle, almost hit the car in the spot next to it, pull forward, back in a little differently and almost hit our car. I think our disbelieving stares finally got through because she finally stopped and waited for us to push the car away from the spot.
10:18pm. Hazard lights blinking, we’re pushing the car toward the exit and crazy driver number 2 driving towards us squeezes us toward the row of parked cars. We have to stop and wait for him to pass. Some people.
10:30pm. I still can’t find a link to my Google Reader. So, I check email and Facebook again. Nothing’s changed. Duh. But, hey, Ipswich won – hooray!
10:55pm. I have to pee again, but we don’t know when the tow truck will arrive and the rain is torrential. I keep telling an increasingly tired and grumpy husband that we are having an adventure.
11:00pm. I find myself thinking I should sign up for Twitter and go wild. Instead, I diligently plod around until I find I can access my Google Reader – hooray!
11:15pm. Crunchy husband calls AA again. Our tow truck driver is close, but by law has to take a break now. He’ll be there in an hour.
11:35pm. Starting to feel sorry for myself, I change my Facebook status to try to garner some pity. It works a little.
12:10am. Our tow truck arrives. His sat nav voice is Fozzie Bear. Awesome! His radio is playing Wham! Awesome! I try to forget how much I have to pee and just fall asleep to George Michael and cheesy saxophone. A warm car moving in the right direction, at last. Awesome!
2:00am. We arrive home after chucking our car outside the village garage. Crunchy husband voices his astonishment at my constant good attitude throughout the ordeal.
2:01am. I pee.
11:00am. We actually drag ourselves out of bed, and have the dinner we were supposed to have had 15 hours before. (Left over Indian food that I made myself on Friday night. Yum!)
Now, what did I learn from all this? We need to keep a blanket in the car during winter and the price of my patience is £1 per day. Not too shabby.