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Taylor in the City

November 18, 2018

After being here for a week, I was feeling confident with myself in navigating the public transportation system. I mean, all I needed was my phone just to double check that I was headed towards the right way. But sometimes random events happen that prevent you from being the confident traveler that you are. 

Picture this: tired and hungry student just wanting to go home after a long day of classes. Okay, you got it? Now, let's begin. So, I woke up at 7 a.m. and had class at 9. From there, I had class again in the afternoon, and then had another class that ran for 3 hours, getting out at 7:30 p.m. My last class is a drag and I'm always itching to run out the door as soon as the clock strikes 7:30. After my 9 a.m. class, I decided to head home seeing as I didn't have class again until 2:30. On my way home, the train I usually take was having some complications. It told me that I had to change to a different line a few stops ahead instead of just taking it straight through to my house. Not a big deal I thought. All I had to do was get off at a different station, change, and then get back on the normal train I usually take. I made it home without any fuss. 

Fast forward to 7:30 p.m. My friend and I show the biggest smiles as we walk out of class. On our way to the station, we're in high hopes that the train is functioning properly again. We get to the station, and let's just say sometimes life surprises you. The same malfunction that was happening earlier was still occurring. My friend suggested that I do the same thing I did earlier with her and just change at the same station. That's what I do. I say goodbye to my friend as she can successfully go home directly from that station by walking. Me, not so fortunate on the other hand. 

So, I take the same train that I did in the afternoon which would bring me back to the route of going straight home. When I get off the train and go downstairs to catch my other train, I see on the monitor a bunch of words (in German, of course). Ready to whip out Google Translate, I think to myself "I know these words, and I know they're not good". I put away the app and just stare at the screen with disbelief. Keep in mind that it gets dark around noon time here so around 7:30 p.m... it felt as if it was 11 p.m... On the monitor, it tells me that there is no service between the station I am at and the station that is 2 stops before my stop. Like, what a perfect way to end the night! So, at least the monitor was helpful and told me to take the bus instead. On a side note, I have never taken the bus before alone. I was either with friends or with my class on a field trip. Never solo. 

I get outside to the bus stops and I know that this is already not going to go well. I vaguely remember the name of the bus stop near my house, but if I saw it I could easily point it out on paper. There's so much to read at the bus stop so that made me go into panic mode. I whip out my phone for some guidance and ironically it was telling me to take the train but internally I was screaming "I CAN'T!!!!!" So I finally get some bus routes on my phone, but with the bus I was suppose to take, there was a detour or something happening, but that bus was coming in a few short minutes. Meanwhile, this man comes up to me and asks me in English if I can help him. Annoyed because I can't even help myself, I answer him in German, hoping it would make him go away since it would mean I don't speak English. So I answer back saying "Ich weiß es nicht", which means I don't know. And then, I couldn't believe what happened next. This man had the audacity to talk to me in German!!! Again, but in German, he says "Kannst du mir helfen?", which means, can you help me? Angry, I reply in English "I don't even know what I'm doing!!" So that was that. 

With nothing to lose, I end up taking that bus. I sit down and wait for the bus to start moving so I can look at the map on my phone to make sure I'm going the right way. Turns out, I was going the wrong way. Like, come on Taylor. You thought this was going to be your day? Think again. So I didn't actually get off until about 5 stops later, which brought me back to the station where I said goodbye to my friend. There was no way I was going to go back in there, take the train to bring me back to where I needed to take the bus, and then figure out the whole bus situation again. I stayed at the bus stop and tried to read the schedule, but it just was not working out. Looking at my phone to see if there are other ways for me to get home without calling for a taxi, my only other option is to walk. Walking is the last resort and I thought maybe if I looked at the bus schedule harder, it would make sense. Nope. My phone is telling me that it will take me a little over 2 hours to get home by foot. Without a doubt, I do it. 

Keep in mind that it is pitch black outside. All I can see are car headlights and bike lights flickering. I'm pretty sure I was the only person walking on the streets at some points, which is a little scary. My speed is fast walking as I'm trying to cut down some minutes. About 13 minutes in, I started crying because I thought about how awful my day was. It was also wet from the rain from earlier, so I kept slipping from the wet leaves. About an hour in, I started to lose my speed as I was getting tired. I kept thinking that it wouldn't be so bad to camp outside for the night and pray that the train would work in the morning. But I said no. I have to keep going until I get to the end. On a positive note, I got to explore my city more. Too bad it was extremely dark so I couldn't really see anything. 

Finally, I made it home in one piece! When I tell my friends what I did, they all can't believe I did that. "Why didn't you take the bus?" Well, I did. But then it just wasn't meant to be. Overall, this probably wasn't the worst thing to happen in my life. Just a little obstacle that I probably would never want to encounter again. That's probably the last time I will ever take a bus in my life. You win some, you lose some. Am I right? 

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