It’s Saturday night, just after 10pm at the Main Street skytrain station. What was I doing here at this time of night? At some fabulous party? No, I was coming home from work. It had been a busy night and I just wanted to get home. I tend to hate the skytrain when I leave work on a Saturday because most people on it have been drinking or are hyper from whatever game or concert they were just at.
I arrived at the station to find an oddly worded sign that tried to convey that the power was down between Broadway and Metrotown so trains would not be going past Broadway. I didn’t actually figure this out from the sign, I got that from Twitter. Who knew 140 characters could be more clear than a sign with unlimited character count?
Luckily, the #19 (Metrotown) stops right outside the station and runs relatively close to where I live. I’ll take this home some nights when I see it driving by me and I want to walk a little bit further, but tonight having seen one on my way to the Skytrain I decided against it. It was packed for some reason, didn’t occur for me to question why.
So I waited for the #19. Thankfully the stop has the automated signs that tell you how long until the next bus, since I was pretty sure with the way my night was going I wasn’t going to get any texts back if I sent them. 17 minutes until the next bus and the crowds were only getting bigger. People tend not to line up at this stop, so when it was to arrive I knew it was going to be a goat rodeo. One bus marked “out of service” passed us, driving up the exact same direction and route that we would be heading, I cursed the driver and Translink for not putting more buses on the road.
At the time I tweeted my annoyance with Translink that they did not put more #19s on the road since they did say on their signage that this would be the best work around for the problem. And it still does irk me that no more buses were put on the road, I also see now the reasoning for not. They were working hard to get the power going again and hoping that it would be fixed before the buses could get there.
Eventually I got on the bus, pushing my way on as we were packed like sardines. Having had a stressful night at work (and in life) and now I was in a bus without any place to move. When I first started riding the buses I would have panic attacks, which I also experience in crowds. I call it agoraphobia but it’s very mild, most likely not even close to a real diagnosis, but it’s a good descriptor when “I get panicked when I can’t move and there is no clear exit” is just too long to explain. Thankfully, a kind man must have seen the look of panic on my face or saw that I was seriously considering tearing through the crowd and off the bus so he offered me his seat, saying he had to start working his way towards the door since he would be getting off in 3 stops anyways.
Now sitting, I was able to close my eyes and get away from the crowded bus. I checked Twitter. Mere moments after pulling away from the Main Street Station stop power had been restored and trains were running. With the way my night was going, I wouldn’t have expected anything different.