Interterminal Issues

<—–Previous Vegas Post

So I’ve decided to sporadically write my posts about Vegas whenever I feel like it, in between posts about various other things.  At this rate, I’ll still be writing them in the winter.  But whatever.  That works for me.  Bloggers in Sin City was just full of so much stuff that I feel like I need to write like ten posts about it at least.

When I arrived at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in May, I was supposed to meet up with Jessica, a fellow blogger who I had never met, because our flights arrived ten minutes apart.  So it made sense that we could just meet up, and make our way to the Flamingo together.  Simple, right?  Or so we thought.

I picked up my luggage at baggage claim 26.  Jessica was at baggage claim 10.  This is where the confusion began, because wherever Jessica was, the numbers only went up to 16.  How was this possible?  I was clearly at baggage claim 26.  Had I entered some magical world like how Harry Potter goes to platform 1 and 3/4?  I didn’t recall having ran through any walls or anything, so that couldn’t be it.

photoAnd that’s when we realized that we were at different terminals.  Curse the Las Vegas airport for being so damn big.  So we brilliantly decided to take the interterminal shuttles to meet each other.  So we both went to the shuttles and got on them.  At the same time.  Going in opposite directions.  It was too late to turn back.  So I believe Jessica simply stayed on her shuttle and took a round trip to meet me back at terminal 1.  Or was it 3?  I don’t even know anymore.  And yes, this was all as confusing as it sounds, possibly more so.

We wandered a bit and eventually had to go ask someone where the hell the hotel shuttles were.  Upon finding them, we patiently waited until it came time to board.  And then patiently waited while it drove oh so very slowly around the strip, proceeding to drop off every other passenger but us.  Not only were we the last to get to our hotel, the driver even stopped to pick up people to take back to the airport before finally dropping us off at The Flamingo.  Actually, she dropped us off a block away from the Flamingo because of “construction” or whatever.  We hoped that this experience would not be indicative of the rest of our time in Vegas.  It was unfortunate that our shuttle ride took so long, but if I was going to have to spend a ridiculous amount of time getting from the airport to the hotel, I’m sure as hell glad that time spent was with Jessica because she made it awesome.

Next Vegas Post—–>

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Picking up the couches, Part 2: Actually getting the couches

Read Part 1 to find out how Translink screwed us over…

So me made it down to Budget, where my dad filled out forms and whatnot to rent the van.  It was a big van.  Well duh, it was a moving van.  But I’d never ridden in on before.  It made rattling sounds as if there was furniture already in it that was moving, even though it was completely empty.  That was a little unnerving.

Budget van that we rented

And then we got caught in what was pretty much the worst traffic ever.  It literally took forever to get to Coquitlam.  Okay, not literally forever, or else we still wouldn’t be there.  I don’t want to pull a Robin from How I Met Your Mother and use the word literally in every sentence when really I don’t mean it.  We went through New Westminster where cars were literally not moving at all.  Okay, I’ll stop.  But you get the idea, traffic was at it’s worst.  I’m not sure what happened, an accident or what, but it was awful.  It took like two hours.

When I saw Queensborough Landing, I thought about asking my dad to just drop me off at Walmart & pick me up after he’d picked up the couches.  But we weren’t in the right lane to be able to go there.  Darn.  And later, ironically, we passed by the Army & Navy in New Westminster.  I had been to the one downtown that morning, where I had purchased eleven pairs of shoes.  I asked my dad if he could just let me off there so I could go look at shoes in this location as well.  I was half joking, half serious at this point.

Some of the shoes that I bought

I cannot express enough how terrible the traffic was.  But in any case, we made it eventually.  My uncle was there to help my dad move the couches.  Why was I there?  You know, I’m not really sure.  Since I happened to be home that day I asked my dad if he needed any help and then ended up going.  Earlier on, he was going to take my brother, but he had just finished school and so he told him it was okay because I would go instead. He said my brother didn’t have to come since my uncle would be there to help move them.  And then I asked, “Why am I going then?” and he said, “I don’t know, just coming along for the ride?  Navigating in traffic?”.

So my dad and my uncle lifted the couches out of the apartment and to the van.  And I stood around doing nothing.  Well no, I stayed in the apartment to make sure no one tried to break in while they were gone.  That’s important, right?  Although I supposed my grandma could have just locked the door and taken her key.  But because I was there, she didn’t have to.  Oh, I also carried the cushions for the couch.  So there, I helped.  I wasn’t completely useless, although I came pretty close.

Couch cushions that I helped carry so I wasn't completely useless

Luckily, traffic going back home was not nearly as bad.  But by the end of it I was so sick of sitting in that van.  When we had to wait forever for the bus earlier, only to not be let on, I was very annoyed.  I still am.  My dad never takes the bus ever, except in situations like this one where there was a good reason.  I thought after seeing how unreliable it was and how long you had to wait sometimes, he’d have an appreciation for what I went through every day, and how much patience it required.

The funny thing is, I ended up having a greater appreciation for what he goes through every day and how much patience he has.  I mean, driving two hours in traffic just to pick up some couches.  Not that he does that particular thing every day, but still.  That takes tremendous patience and he’s always driving around somewhere to pick up someone or something, working, and running errands non-stop.  I mean I already knew that, but sitting in traffic that day made me think about it more.

The couches are still sitting in our garage right now.  My brother helped my dad move them there from the van the next morning.  There’s no hurry to move them into the actual living room yet.  It’s not like they’re going anywhere.  They may be heavy, but at least there’ll be no more sitting in traffic in order to get them to where they need to be.

Couches sitting in our garage

Picking up the couches, Part 1: Why I hate Translink

So on Wednesday, I went with my dad to my grandma’s apartment in Coquitlam to pick up some couches.  She’s moving, and she’s giving us her couches because she doesn’t need them anymore and they’re nicer than the ones we currently have.  But we had to rent a van in order to fit them in.  So we went down to Budget to rent one.  We were going to take the bus down there, since there wasn’t really any parking room for us to leave our van while renting theirs.

And so we went to the bus stop.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Did I ever mention how terrible the 401 bus service is?  I’m sure I have.  And that’s an understatement.  But yes.  The bus was supposed to come at 2:35pm.  But it didn’t.  The next one was scheduled for 2:49pm.  Also it was raining.  And my grandma was expecting us.

When the first one didn’t show up, I tweeted Translink to ask them if it was delayed.  Because one time I updated my status to “That awkward moment when even translink won’t reply your text messages”.  Because normally you’d text 33333 with your stop number and then receive an instant reply of when your bus is coming.  Translink had sent me a tweet in response to my “That awkward moment..” tweet saying “But we always respond to your tweets!”.  Which isn’t actually true.  But nevertheless, I took them on their word and decided to tweet them.  Besides, if I were to text them, it would tell me the scheduled time, but wouldn’t be able to confirm whether or not it was running on schedule.

Eventually, they replied my tweet and informed me that the bus was running about 12 minuted behind schedule.  I replied them and told them that it had been 20 minutes.  And then we saw the bus turn the corner.  And it spent forever at the stop prior to ours.  Never take the bus when it’s around 3pm.  It will be filled with school kids.  And it will be delayed because of the school kids.  It’s worth rescheduling everything just to avoid this.  Trust me.

And so finally, the bus pulled up to our stop.  And the driver opened the back door and let two passengers off.  But he refused to open the front door.  It was only me and my dad at that stop.  But he wouldn’t let us on.  We were standing right next to the front doors.  I could see there was room inside the bus, especially since he had just let off two people.  I tapped on the door to get his attention.  He just looked at us and gave a sort of wave of his hand before driving off, leaving us there.  I think I yelled “We’ve been waiting 30 minutes!” as he drove away, not giving a shit.

It’s not as if there was another bus behind him.  There wasn’t.  And how can you not have room for two more people when you’ve just let two people off?  Also, it was not a matter of trying to save time, because in the time it took for the two people to get off, we could have gotten on.  He had to stop there anyway.  There was absolutely no reason for him to have not opened the doors to us.  It’s his job and it was incredibly frustrating, especially since we had been waiting for so long.

This happened at around 2:50 or so.  We ended up driving and parking and then having to take the Canada Line anyway to get down to Budget.  We just wasted a lot of time waiting for nothing.  I tweeted Translink again, informing them of what just happened, or trying to as best I could within a 140 character limit.  I don’t know if they really got the picture.  But they tweeted me back saying sorry that happened and giving me the customer service link.

I’ve been referred to the customer service link before.  And I’ve filled out the form.  And I’m pretty sure they haven’t done anything about it.  I think they have my name on file right now for complaints about the system, and likely just ignore anything I happen to say anymore.  I have yet to fill out the form.  I should go and do it, maybe after this blog post.  But I don’t even know if there’s any point.  I was able to get the bus number of the bus that he was driving.  It was R7103.  Maybe that way they can figure out which driver it was.  I would hate for the wrong person to get blamed.  If anyone even does get blamed to begin with.

Can anyone think of any possible reasonable explanation as to why the driver wouldn’t have let us on the bus?  You know, other than the fact that he’s an asshole?

Stay tuned for Part 2, if you care at all whether we managed to make it to pick up the couches…

Customer service complaint form that I've yet to fill out

Ode to the 98 B-Line

This is a poem that I wrote 3 years ago when they discontinued the 98 B-Line which was my main method of transportation at the time.  I thought I would share it with you now since I miss it today more than ever.

ode to the 98 b-line

i hate you
you are frequently noisy and crowded
leaving me standing many times
when i long for a seat
a few times i have fallen
that was your doing
jerking without warning
sometimes you even pass me by
claiming there is no room left
none at all
for me
you are never around
when i need you most
leaving me waiting
always waiting
you have wasted my time
provoked anger
and misery
and spite

and yet
when i take a different route
through no choice of my own
when i am forced to walk further
to take stairs
to board a mode of transportation
when i am forced to stand again
when there is no driver
when i have to transfer multiple times
to get to my destination
when i am lost somewhere on cambie
not knowing how to get where i need to be
when i finally figure out how to get there
only to realize i have missed the bus
when i walk all the way to granville
frustrated
because i should already be there
when i miss appointments
am late for important events
because you can no longer take me there
when the skytrain breaks down
leaving me stranded
unable to leave
when i look up at the sign
and 98 b-line is no longer listed
when i search for you
and they tell me you do not exist
when you are gone from my life forever
i will miss you

98 B-Line, the best bus a girl could ask for