I Somehow Stranded Myself Again

Just when you think that, over the years, you’ve finally run through all the possible stupid ways to get stranded, it’s practically natural law that you immediately come across another.

A month ago, I signed up for a volunteer orientation about half an hour off campus. In hindsight, I probably should’ve expected something to go wrong—together, public transportation and a set time never bode well for me—but this time I’d inputted the address beforehand and was confident nothing could go wrong.

google maps, nicolesundays
Under the impression that inputting an address is what gets me halfway there.

Entering destinations into Google Maps lends me an unwarranted semblance of control. It’s a rush, knowing where I’m going and when I’ll get there. Sometimes I’ll even put in addresses on the way to class to gage walking time, especially when I’m already en route and unable to do anything about how late I’m going to be, just because unadulterated terror is the only thing that gets me going in the mornings anymore.

It was about time my compulsive need to preview directions to my every location finally bit me in the ass, but I must say I’d expected the reckoning to be from Google Maps malfunctioning. Or at least losing signal and overshooting my stop because my location wouldn’t update. Or missing the bus. Probably anything would’ve been smarter than what actually happened.

At my expected stop, the bus pulled over to the side of the road. The doors hissed open. I thought it was odd that the stop was in the middle of a street—like, not even close to an intersection, just halfway down the length of a relatively busy road—but got off anyway because I feel less responsible for things going wrong when it’s the result of me doing as I’m told.

bus stop
What probably had been the sidewalk was now inaccessible due to construction, so I just started walking forward. IN the road.

It was 6:17, giving me enough time for the estimated 7-minute walk. The orientation was at some police department, and while I hadn’t ever been to a police department before (humble brag?) I had a feeling it probably wouldn’t look like a hotel construction site. Cars swerving around my person, I double-checked the address in the email.

… It was a different address from the one I’d been using. All sensation draining from my extremities, I recalled that in the morning I’d been making plans with a friend to go to chicken shit bingo (this is another story) and had left that address in the app. So now I had ten minutes left before orientation, which was on the opposite side of town.

I called an Uber. I can count the number of times I’ve Ubered alone at night on one hand and no fingers because I’m scared of ridesharing. Rather presumptuously, I always assume drivers want to murder me even though I’m sure they all have better ways to spend their time.

I finally was able to step off the street to stand in the middle of a vacant parking lot in the dark, where passersby gave me a wide berth, probably because I was standing in the middle of a vacant parking lot in the dark.

The driver arrived in a few minutes, and I made it to the orientation late by less than ten minutes. Ducking my head, I made my way to the back of the room of prospective volunteers and pulled out my phone, wondering if I should text my mom about the close call. Would she be worried? Annoyed that I’d put myself in danger?

She’d already texted me. Did you take an Uber ride this evening?

I did. Took a bus to the wrong location. Upon our call, later that night, I relayed my moments of panic, my confusion about the address mixup, and my ever-present fear of being murdered by an Uber driver. How I’d made a mistake, but at least there’d been an option that’d safely gotten me to the department relatively on time. It’d been such a close call.

“You used my free ride,” said my mom. Apparently my app had been linked to her account, and she’d been saving her first ride for a more expensive trip.

More on why I’ve been MIA in another post, but good to be back! Please consider following this blog via email and/or liking its Facebook page, where I post occasional life updates and quality excuses for the lack of said life updates. Oh, and find me on Instagram, too.

Last post: The Toilet of Shame

17 thoughts on “I Somehow Stranded Myself Again

  1. I feel bad you found yourself in such a position but glad you got yourself out of it and no longer stranded. We missed you out here. (Yes, I am making am assumption that others agree with me on that.)
    Now, on a slightly different note, your mother had every right to ask if you Ubered your way to the orientation. I’m sure she told you many times not to get into cars with strangers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I probably wouldn’t want to, either! I usually just pretend I was getting off at that floor, too, although it’s probably not convincing seeing as they might remember me having pressed another button. But i’m sure it happens to them to, which is why they don’t say anything

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Although there are more awkward things (hairdressers, to name but one), I also avoid taxis like the plague. I don’t think the drivers will want to murder me I think they will want to TALK to me, which is almost more terrifying.

    Glad you made it! I hope chicken shit bingo (??) was easier to find once you’d already been in the neighbourhood!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. I usually rideshare with people and make a beeline for the backseat for this very reason (forcing other people to make conversation)
      I still haven’t gone to chicken shit bingo, but everyone will for sure hear about it when I do haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re so brave for using an Uber. I think I would too scared to even call one because I don’t know the culture of how hailing a cab works.. Like do I ask the cabbie how much the whole trip will be before or after I get in? Am I supposed to pay right then and there or later? And then, like you, I’m also afraid of being murdered or kidnapped by the person. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

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