Last week, Irenka and I were scheduled to take a class at the Creative Festival in downtown Toronto. The class started at 9 AM. Needless to say, at any given time of day, if you are coming from Mississauga to "The Big Smoke", you have to leave in plenty of time, but especially so in 'peak times'. In our (actually Irene's) infinite wisdom we decided each to take the train and meet at the class. She would have to venture forth on a different line than I would. The Professor does the trip every day, and this day I would join him for the early morning commute. In an effort to be able to make his schedule more flexible, he has recently decided to rent a permanent spot at the Clarkson GO station. This way, he is assured of a parking place, and doesn't have to arrive before 7 a.m.
All is going well, the class, the trade show, the lunch meeting up with other friends. Time to return home. Manage to get the train and arrive in front of the van to realize that I had neglected to bring my own keys. Just reflex. The Professor drove, and my keys WITH the house key are where they always are inside the house.
In the almost 30 years of living here, I have rarely taken a bus in Mississauga . The routes are not like city routes. They are getting better, but rarely go where you need them, when you need them and are very spread out. We live in the suburbs and "in the day" public transit was not really planned for...it was assumed we would all use cars, after all, it was the suburbs. Nowadays, things have changed.
Having spent the little cash that I do carry these days, I didn't have enough to take a taxi home, which is another thing we don't usually do in the suburbs - take taxis that is.
After an embarrassing scout around the GO Station lobby I ferreted out a route map and had many people jump to my rescue. I didn't even know what the correct fare was. It's $3.00 exact change. With the help of the good citizens, and one overly-eager-to-help woman, I got on a bus going my way. Crumpled transfer in hand, had to be told that the other bus I needed was on the other side of the tracks. About an hour and a half later, I was home.
It wasn't altogether an unpleasant experience and I felt I was paying penance for the oversight in not having my keys with me at all times. I was also impressed by how many citizens use the bus, in large part students, since the route wends it's way through UofT Mississauga. Yet another life experience.
Irenka always takes the bus, unless I'm driving. She is highly organized and motivated. I'll pay more attention next time to where my keys are.