Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Little lancaster county chick gets lost in the big city

good grief. friday was a mess.

abby's school was having a little performance; it was 'international night' and each class had a different country that they were learning about and presented songs and such for family/friends. Abby's class had Mexico. Anyway, she invited andrew, erica, and me to come, but with erica's bout in the hospital i didnt think it would happen. Well, when andrew came home friday from work, i asked: "so, what do you want to do tonight?" and he said: "i thought you were going to abby's school?"

what a pleasant surprise! andrew was gonna stay home with erica so i could go out. So, i called abby and she gave me impromptu directions. (my #1 mistake was to not use mapquest for directions. i ALWAYS use mapquest, cuz they're so awesome.) i quick got ready and ran out the door.

i had plenty of time. i think i had like two hours and it was an estimated trip of only one hour. so, i'm driving down the turnpike. it was wonderful. the roads are much better than normal PA roads, and i didnt have erica in the car. i felt so liberated.

traffic got a bit heavy b/c of an accident. but, i eventually reached my exit. At the tollbooth, i paid the toll, and was looking forward towards the signs; they were a bit too far away, and i couldnt quite read them. i thought about asking the lady which one i was supposed to take, but figured: the signs will be clear. WELL-- i get to the V in the road and the signs ARE NOT marked East of West. And the street names arent what abby told me. OH NO OH NO OH NO! she said i was supposed to turn Right, so i took the Right one, but it took me down to a road that wasnt what i was supposed to be on.

So, i pulled over somewhere and called her on her cell. i said: I'M LOST I'M LOST! She let me talk to one of her fellow teachers who was familiar with the area. the lady said to turn Right on *** Road. So i did. abby had said i would drive like five minutes until coming to a Walmart. then i was supposed to turn left. so, i'm driving and driving. there's lots of Friday Rush Hour traffic, so the 'five minutes' wasnt really doing me any good. i keep driving driving driving. And thinking: "any minute i should get there..." kept driving driving.

i get to a very populated area. very confusing looking. but i keep driving. and clutching my directions in my hands. I'm keeping my eyes wide open, looking for any sign of where i'm supposed to be going.

suddenly: POUND POUND! A police officer on a bicycle bangs on my window: "pull over!" so, i do, wondering: What the heck did i do wrong??? i know i wasnt speeding. i figure maybe one of my lights is burned out.

he comes up to my window and says: "you have no clue what you did wrong do you? you completely went thru that red light! and it was blatantly red! it didnt just turn! you could have gotten yourself killed. its amazing you didnt. you would have been crushed."

now, i'm not really flustered or upset at this point. i just keep thinking: how the heck did i miss a red light? i was looking everywhere! So, i say to him: "i'm really sorry. I've never been here before. i'm not from around here." He asks where i'm from and i say: "***, in lancaster county." He made a wise crack comment: "and dont they have street lights there?" and made me feel real dumb. so, he took my liscense, registration, insurance, and i was left to ponder what was going on.

1) where the heck am i?
2) i'm totally going to be late now.
3) how did i miss that light!?!?!

well, as i was surveying my surroundings, i discovered how i missed the light. it was to the RIGHT SIDE OF THE STREET, not hanging up above like every other stop light i've ever seen. i thought: howe the heck was i supposed to know to look over there? and besides, the streets were lined with all kinds of stores, so the light just blended in with all of those store lights and signs.

so, i'm feeling calm still. and justified (at least in my own reasoning) for having missed the light. i realize that i will accept the ticket b/c i really did go thru the light, but i want to at least explain to him why i didnt see it, just so he doesnt think i'm a complete idiot.

he comes back and the first thing he says is: "i'm not going to give you a ticket." OH, what a sigh of relief. i start to tell him my explanation, when he asks: "where are you trying to get to?"


"i ... i dont... know!! [sob sob] my sis... ter ha...s a school aaa...ssembly tha...t i'm tr...ying to ge...t to..."

well, whats the address?-- he asks.

"i... dont... know! [sob sob] she... she... said it ... was ... after... a... a... wa...lmart. ..."

there's no walmart around here-- he says. [sob sob from me.] YOU'RE IN THE CITY NOW!

holy crap!!! i'm in philly! how the heck did i end up here! all i can say is: thank goodness for people's preconcieved notions of Lancaster County. He thought i was this "country-bumpkin" who was never in a city before-- i'm pretty sure thats why he didnt give me a ticket. he felt so bad for me because i was lost in the city. He told me over and over to calm down. Then he gave me directions.

the whole way driving then to her school, i was screaming: "aaahhh!!! this sucks!!! i got pulled over by a cop! i could have died!!! stupid abby making me come to her stupid school thing!" [which, by the way, i was just saying in the heat of the momment. i wasnt really mad at her, and really did want to go to her school thing.] Then i realized that it was actually a Blessing. If that cop hadnt stopped me, i would have gotten even more lost. i would have gotten myself deeper into Philadelphia and in the really bad sections.

i eventually got to her school. LUCKILY, where i parked was by the only door that was unlocked, and on the door was a little sign that said: "Miss S***'s room" so i knew where to go. i walked into her classroom, and she was in there with her students. They had just finished their program, and were waiting in their classroom for their parents to come get them. So, since they had a few minutes, they gave me a private performance of their songs.

haha- one boy asked me why my nose was so red. I honestly told him: "i was crying." oh well. And all of her students-- in fact, everyone in the whole school, faculty included-- were fascinated that Abby and I look so much alike. My parents were there, so i went from classroom to classroom with them to see how the rooms were decorated, and each teacher thought i was abby and asked: "why arent you in your room?"

it was a fun night then. BUT, i refused to drive home. i didnt want to risk getting lost again. so, my mom drove with me back to their house, and i left in the morning to come back home to my hubby and baby.

[following this post are just some miscillaneous updates; i didnt want them to get mixed in with this.]


Michaela said...

awww You poor Country Bumbkin! at least you didnt get a ticket! and I hate the traffic lights like that they annoy me. they should all hang! its where we look!

Becky L said...

i'm so glad someone agrees with me!

'liya said...

Wow what an adventure :S

It reminded me of when I got lost once driving and then ended up panicking much more than you AND got into an accident ..

Good thing everything worked out for you!

Crazy Me said...

Wow! Sounds like an exciting night!

Clairissa said...

Cops are such jerks! Well, SOME of them.