October 20, 2011

The Time I Ran Down the Quinta at 6:50 AM

Puh puh puh. {break}Puh puh puh. {break} Puh puh puh. {break}

Puh puh puh. {break}Puh puh puh. {break} Puh puh puh. {break}

"Well, what do you want to do?", Kelsi asked me.

"I guess we have no choice", I responded.

And we didn't really. The sound of an engine trying unsuccessfully to catch and turn over still ringing in our ears, we exited to cab to a flurry of honking, yelling and the general chaos that is morning rush hour traffic on Cali's busiest north-south throughfare, the Quinta. The taxi cab that Kelsi, my friend Katie (who was visiting from Wisconsin) and I had gotten into 20 minutes earlier to take us to school was sitting there, holding up traffic amidst a slew of unhappy cars behind it.

We started to walk. There would be no cabs to be found until we walked at least four more blocks to the south, for no cab would be sitting in this traffic if it did not already have passengers. Looking at our watches our walk turned into more of a run. Backpack on my back, coffee cup in one hand, lunch bag in the other and there I am running down the Quinta at 6:50 AM on a Tuesday. At the end of those four blocks we came to a cross street which I foolishly thought held empty-cab potential. It didn't. No cabs to be found and it's starting to look like we should just stand on the side of the street until we beg our way onto a passing school bus in about 15 minutes time. Great. Cannot wait for the stories of "The time my bus picked up Ms. R and her friends on the side of the road on the way to school."

Welcome to Cali, Colombia, Katie. I promise getting to school is not always this much of a struggle.

I looked over to Kelsi with a look of what now? Then I saw it. Rushing past on the Quinta was an unmistakable beige Renault car with our coworker and friend Daniel at the wheel.

"Daniel!" "Daniel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Where is my phone?!?!?!?!?!?"

Running down the sidewalk in the direction of his car and he picks up his phone after three rings.

"STOP. STOP. STOP. We're {deep breath due to all the running} on the Quinta. We saw you. We need a ride."

I could tell he was immediately confused about why I was calling him at close to 7:00 AM screaming about needing a ride and panting out of breath, but thank goodness he understood he needed to stop. Stop he did and we ran the next block laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Five minutes later we were back in a moving vehicle on the way to school. Taking off the sweatshirts we foolishly put on that morning to keep out the morning chill in the air. Laughing at how ridiculous I must have sounded screaming into my phone for Daniel to stop for us. Discussing the fact that we have never once in 1.5 years of taking a cab to school in the morning had this happen. And then it happens on the one day Katie comes to school with me.

But hey, we still made it to school by 7:15 AM, with 15 minutes to spare until the start of the first class. I would call that a win. And an excellent story (blog post?).  

1 comment:

kelsi said...

all i got to say is thank god for daniel.

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