Racing the Rain
So, my vow to leave school earlier this year is not really working out so far. I go in an hour and a half before school starts because I know I am less productive after school, but… there is so much to do!
Today a colleague was leaving and offered me a ride to a mall near her where I can easily pick up the bus home, so I left with her (yes, it was after 5). The drop off was fortuitous, as I am on the hunt for better markers to make better posters (I am trialing the TCRWP units for reading and writing and all these posters and anchor charts are NOT my strength- I have the idea that new markers will make all the difference- I hope I am right!). I made it to the store and found a great selection of black Sharpies in different widths and along the way picked up a card for a new baby, “spy” notebooks for my class, and some more markers for my students. As I was paying I was answering texts from a friend who was commenting on the thunder.
“No thunder here-yet!” I responded as I made my way to the exit. I crossed the sketchy overpass watching the sky darken. The wind picked up and it was regular Winnie the Pooh weather (somehow blustery weather always makes me think of Winnie the Pooh). My skirt was blowing in the wind, but my hands were too full to hold it down properly-surely nobody was stopping to take in that view from below.
I hustled across and made my way down the steep staircase and waited for the bus. A few taxis stopped, but I was determined to wait out a bus. After several big plops of rain landed on my shoulder I was regretting my decision to wave off the taxis. Finally a bus came. There are two kinds of buses here- the cheap ones (1Rm a ride- about 25c) or the nicer buses (seems to me they are the same price if you use a bus pass). The yuckier buses only take cash, whereas on the nicer buses you can pay with cash or use a bus pass. It was a nicer bus, so I juggled my bags to reach in my backpack, to find my purse, to retrieve my wallet to pull out my pass. As I was doing this I was thinking about another colleague who recently had her purse snatched- it seems to be happening more often.
Safely on the bus I quietly begrudged the other passengers who took their time getting on at each stop, as I felt like I was on a personal mission to get home before the downpour. I got to my stop and was in luck- still no rain. Hurrying home the short walk I made sure that I had my backpack on securely- again thinking of safety. When I got to the curve I looked ahead- there is a HUGE construction project going on outside my apartment and at one place the area to walk is often flooded, so I go outside the barrier when that is the case so that I do not have to walk in the filthy water. It is a dangerous decison because the drivers here are not the safest and I always feel I am taking my life in may hands walking on the street.
Today I was in luck- no flood, so I could walk the safe way. As I came up to the apartment door there were two men ahead of me. The first went inside without a backward glance, the second hurried to catch the door before it closed (saving him from having to get out his access card). When I called to him, “Good catch,” he held the door for me.
We all got on the elevator and began our ascent. While we were making our way I was fishing for my purse, then my wallet, to replace my bus pass. Then I went to another pocket on my backpack to pull out my key.
“There’s always so much to juggle,” the stranger before me said, “all to get to your key.”
“There is, ” I replied, “but we made it home before the rain.”
As he stepped off he called out a cheerio and I wished him a good night.
It is always an interesting dichotomy- being wary of strangers and mindful of safety and having pleasant conversation with other strangers. I am glad that I still feel safe in this city, even though I know that this can change at a moment. I guess there are many ways to race the rain- as for me, I prefer to be a part of the action whenever possible.