One pretty fine Thursday afternoon, I left work and boarded the Lexington express (one of the “best” lines in MTA) with the intention of visiting Fluffys after work (yea, my sis too). Unfortunately, judging by the early signs, i. e. more than usually crowded platform, I got the feeling that this subway ride is going to be even more fun than usual.
Unfortunately, my predictions ended up being true; the only bright spot in the whole debacle being a seat I had wrestled. Finally, at Bowling Green, we were informed that the train was not going into Brooklyn, but turning back. A huge wave of disgruntled humanity exited the train, carrying yours truly along. By now it was over an hour after my departure from work, and I realized that I will not see Munchkins that evening. So, after arranging with my sister for a rain check (or is it "MTA is run by morons" check?), I decided to try and enjoy the evening.
First on the list was, of course, food. So, I trekked to the one of the two kosher establishments in the area. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that it closed down since my last visit downtown. Then imagine the unpleasant feeling when I realized that it was closed down by the Department of Health. Needless to say, the hunger pangs disappeared.
Further examination of the sky revealed more than few clouds (a good chance of torrential rain), so the excursion to our favorite "pak" was scrapped as well. Disappointed, but not deterred, I went to the bookstore.
Upon arrival at that fine establishment, I decided to visit the least pleasant part of it - the ladies room - before visiting more pleasant ones. As my luck would have it, that coveted place was being cleaned. For some unfathomable reason I decided to hang around and wait for the cleaning lady to finish. That turned out to be a slight miscalculation on my part.
So, here I am, just perusing the cookbooks and not-too-surreptitiously observing the progress of the cleaning. Meanwhile, the other ladies ignore the sign and barrel on. They were stopped and directed to the men's room by the enterprising cleaning personnel. At this point I decided to ignore the cookbook and observed the fun.
Sure enough, first adventures female soul knocked on the door, ascertained that the men's room was empty, and went in. Immediately after this, a man wanted to use the facilities. I warned him just in time. While he was waiting, another guy showed up, and they had to wait together. The second arrival even complimented the first one on his being a gentleman (the rest of this conversation would be better off to remain unpublished).
Finally, the adventures female exited, and the waiting males entered. Meanwhile, the cleaning lady was still busy cleaning the ladies' and directing everyone to the men’s. Yours truly continued to peruse the cookbooks, direct the hapless of both sexes, and generally observe the entertaining tableau.
The last female - non-adventurous, but desperately in need, since she was pregnant - beseechingly looked at me before I had a chance to open my mouth and offer my guard services. I assured her that I will not allow anyone of the male persuasion to enter the coveted facilities, and she disappeared there with a grateful smile. About three more males were stopped in their tracks to the bathroom till the pregnant woman emerged. She was profusely grateful, and even offered to do the same services for me; she also warned me that the men's room was really in a disgusting shape.
Since I accidently walked into three different men's bathrooms prior to that memorable evening, I did not need any additional warnings. I just thanked her with a big smile and returned to my observations and my cookbooks.
Finally, the cleaning woman finished her job, at which point she decided that she is going to preserve the integrity of the said job and not allow anyone into the ladies room for another half an hour. Few more brave female souls wanted to visit the coveted place and were also directed to the men's! At which point my capacity for entertaining oneself (and my patience) ran out, and I point blank asked her why I cannot go into the ladies’ is she was done. To which she replied to me in Spanish and again pointed to the men's! Wrong language, hon!
For those of you who know my political pet peeves, English as a national language is one of them; and I refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of Spanish here in any shape or form. So, when she compounded her nonsensical behavior by speaking to me in Spanish that was the end of Ms. Nice Girl. I told her that I do not speak Spanish, but I can see that she is done with the ladies', and I am going there, sign or no sign. She added some more annoyed phrases (I am sure also very complimentary to yours truly), and huffily removed the sign, after which she proceed to finally clean the men's. To give her credit, the bathroom was thoroughly cleaned.
After that adventure, the rest was a bit anticlimactic. I visited all the favorite sections of the store; found one book which I wanted to acquire as a present, and of which, of course, they only had one bedraggled copy; got some cards, most of which I did not need; refrained from getting a coffee in view of the recent events, and finally decided that MTA probably sorted out their mess, and I can go home.
The last was too optimistic: I ended up waiting for the train for about twenty minutes, after which it arrived stuffed like a sardine can. Needless to say, I came home late and hungry (thanks, sis, for feeding me).
To summarize this pretty typical for New York evening:
I have spent more than four hours in total in order to reach my humble abode; was treated to 9,667th demonstration of MTA's incompetence and stupidity since our arrival to this fair city; spend about six dollars for absolutely no logical reason; realized for the 666th time that eating at home is better than in a typical kosher establishment; appreciated again the idiocy of Mayor Bloomberg in his refusing to build public bathrooms in New York; was treated to the 1000th demonstration of general human idiocy in performance of the queen of the hill routine; and, finally, while perusing the cookbooks, I came to the realization that I am a fairly decent cook myself and can have my own cookbook - at least on the level of the ones I was perusing. So, in the future, my blog would feature the additional segment of recipes.