Post the Fifth - Jillian the Student vs. Public Transport

I’m currently sitting in my room, satisfactorily filled from a deliciously epic salad (I mean epic. I cooked chicken and made homemade croutons and everything!), content and cozy after a pleasant day. I don’t have class on Tuesdays, so this morning I met the lovely Michelle Stoney on W10th Ave. We ate Chinese food and discovered that we share the same passion for beef and broccoli, and then indulged ourselves on Coldstone ice cream. Michelle is a more dedicated fan than I; even though she is lactose intolerant, she popped pills and forged ahead. Michelle is a die-hard Canucks fan, so I’m going to see a game with her in October! This is actually a huge deal, as some of you may recognize, as I am a self-proclaimed hockey ignoramus. However, I believe there is still hope for me yet, and all of Laura Fagner’s hours spent trying to teach me about the conferences and points might not yet be in vain.

(An aside: Michelle was having trouble seeing today. She thought she might have lost a contact on the bus. I just received a text from her saying that all was fine, she just had her contacts in the wrong eyes.)

I had a slightly rough weekend. Friday was great - I bussed to North Vancouver to meet up with the Crosses. We ate supper at their house and then Jen and I tackled her IKEA shelf. It was huge, and I now understand every comedian’s jokes about putting together IKEA furniture - how on earth are people supposed to know which screw is which? They all look the same! Anyway, it all came together, and I think we did a pretty dece job, all said and done.

On Saturday, I planned to meet the Crosses at a BC Lions game and go to the Starfield concert afterwards. The BC Lions field is pretty far away from UBC, so I had to get the bus. I used the Translink trip planner online and I was totally prepared to get to the field for the 1:15 start. I left the campus, bright and excited for a date with Starfield. Here I was in my red sweater, “Hand that Holds the World” shirt, braided bangs and huge earrings, waiting innocently for the bus. There was a small crowed gathered, also waiting on a sunny morning for the Number 17: Oak via Downtown bus at UBC Loop Bay 12. After the departure time had come and gone, and I began looking around curiously, a man approached in a BC Transit outfit and told us that we’d be best off catching another bus, as there was a delay with the No. 17. Now: I had only prepared for the 17, and I wasn’t entirely sure how else to get downtown, but I nervously followed the crowd to the other loop, hoping I’d find a downtown route. The only other bus I knew, the 44, wasn’t running at that time, and I had no idea how to get to my next stop via the 99, so, dejectedly, I ambled back to wait for 17. Finally, a half hour later, it arrived and I hopped on.

My next stop and transfer proved to be more problematic. I arrived at the stop with 20 minutes until kick-off, so I figured I’d get there shortly after the game started. Because of the game that day, there was a back up of busses at the field. The bus I was waiting for didn’t show up for 20 minutes, while several other numbers whizzed by. When the right bus finally stopped and some 30 students who were waiting with me clambered on, I heard the driver say something like “No stopping in Vancouver, this is the express.” I tentatively asked him “Does this bus go to the BC Lions field?” He looked at me with annoyance and smugness and replied “Is that in Vancouver?” I stared back and answered meekly “I don’t know. I just moved here.” He then laughed evilly, said “Yeah it’s in Vancouver! I’m not stopping!” AND SHUT THE DOOR ON ME!!


Anyway, I finally caught a bus and made it to the game 2 minutes before half time (which is totally fine because 2 minutes in football is actually 26 minutes and 42 seconds), meaning that my ticket was still available. The game was boring, mostly because I know nothing about football. Not even enough to pretend to know when to cheer. I had Cameron telling me “That was good! Cheer!” or “That was bad! Stop cheering!” When we finally got to the concert, it was good, because Starfield are awesome! But they only sang a few songs and then a bunch of football players came onstage to talk about how they deal with adversity, etc. Boring, largely. And then it started raining. We left to get food because we were starved, and then I began my looooong bus journey home (where I again missed the right bus, and had to make several transfers.)

So I was pretty bummed on Saturday, after the rain and the bus confusion and the short concert. I planned to go to church on Sunday, and I had seen a United church not far from campus on the bus route early that week. I looked it up when I got home and planned my transit there. I rose bright and early, dressed in my finest (Riff’s dress!) and heels, and, because it was pouring rain, donned my rain coat and umbrella. No transport problems this time, but when I got off at the stop, I couldn’t find the church! I was positive I had seen it on the bus the day before, but I couldn’t find it! I wandered around, sopping wet, clicking heels stepping in puddles, and waving a bright pink umbrella. I came across a Chinese Baptist church, but no English place of worship. When I looked at my watch and realized the service had already started and I still had no idea where to go, I stood under the eave of a bank, and, crying, called home.

Luckily my day brightened up when Marion and Muna, friends from home, came to campus to eat supper with me. I made omelette wraps and we tried to warm up from our sopping wet clothes. My rain coat seems to have stopped working, also. I was completely soaked through. Not a good time to not have a working raincoat, living in Vancouver.


I passed in my first assignment for school today. It was just a reading response, but it’s sort of momentous, right? First assignment of my Masters.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.



Anonymous said…
Oh man, that stinks!! I hate it when everything seems to go wrong like that, especially when you are alone in a new city trying to get your bearings. I definitely had a few days like that in Fredericton! Hang in there, it'll get easier. Too bad Vancouver doesn't have subways. I like them better than busses.
Glenda said…
Oh you poor soul! I could totally associate with your frustration with the buses. That's a lie......I can't. You are in a much larger city than I ever was. However I've had my share of VERY frustrating moments in regard to buses. I'm sure that you will get to know all this in time. I found that the best way to learn your way around is to get lost (sometimes). It doesn't sound like the transit drivers are too friendly. Hang in there! Things will get better. I admire your determination! Keep it up and keep the blogs coming. I really enjoy reading them. Take care. Love ya!
Steph said…
"[...] and then a bunch of football players came onstage to talk about how they deal with adversity, etc. Boring, largely."
You crack me up Jilly! Especially when you sound British in your writing :D

As for the bus adventures of Saturday and Sunday you should feel extremely proud of yourself. I, myself, would have cried probably 6-8 times throughout the 2 days when you managed one, good, single outburst. Well done.
You're going to get through this initial 'getting used to everything' bit and soon you'll be laughing evilly on the bus as someone else asks, "Does this bus stop in downtown Vancouver?" Except you won't laugh evilly because you're a nice person and not a large turd like that bus driver.

Tammy Williams said…
I did the bus system in Calgary and Edmonton so I know your frustration with large city public transportation. Many nights it took me up to 3 hours to get home from the isolated place I ended up in. But know this, all "good" things come to an end. One day you will either know the city inside out or own your own car. Time to get used to the rain too. We get our share down here in the winter and the best thing to do is invest in a really good rain-coat or thermal ski jacket. Columbia makes the best (personal preference). Good luck with your new adventures.
Melissa Wheels said…
Oh man, your bus driver is the most evil! I can only imagine that in my head like something from a movie. I kind of enjoyed your description of it, though. Sometimes unfortunate events make for good stories. Take my life, for example. Basically everything that happens to me is unfortunate, but it usually makes for a good story. Intertwined-finger-dancing anyone?

I am so amazed you went to see the BC Lions! The CFL is mildly awful though, but football is football is football I imagine.

Also your rain coat is rude.
Moulie said…
Awww....homesick yet? I agree, you should invest in some good raingear! Ummmmmm.....Christmas gifts....what will I get for Jillian? Oops, just thinking out loud.

However, it's good to know that you're a determined girl and you won't give in or give up! You'll have it all down pat and will be telling the bus drivers 'where to go' before long. Lol. .... Is lol appropriate to use in a blog??

Anyway, keep the blogs coming.

Love you.
Jeanette said…
This is so similar to my first (disastrous) bus adventure in Vancouver! A trip that should've taken 30 minutes took about 1.5 hours; my bus driver yelled at an old woman; and my feet were so blistered that I didn't walk at all the next day. I managed to fend off tears until I was off the bus, at least! We are little fish in a big pond, my dear.
Marley said…
Honestly, I haven't had any of these kinds of situations so... I can't relate (snickering)and thus I don't have a story to equate to yours! BUT I can say ... glad you enjoyed your omelette wraps; that my friend, makes everything bad - good! Seriously, you are my special one and I sometimes feel "lonely" when I remember that you are so friggin far away! Loving you still!
Just testing a comment
Okay it worked!

tear to the bus fiasco!

I would also just like to comment on Cameron and the game: ELLE OH ELLE!
I love the Crosses!

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