A question that’s popped up while reading again through yesterday’s blog entries about Atlantic City is: Wait... and the backpack? I don’t know about you, but if I read that story about walking around the Boardwalk all day, I’d wonder how I managed to do that with the backpack. We’ll just assume I put it into a locker at the bus terminal, right? Except, there isn’t one. There isn’t one! Did I carry that 37 pound beast (weighed at the airport) around with me all day? No, I did not. Oh, the mystery… where did the luggage go?
Actually, putting it like that I should get myself a Luggage instead of my luggage – Terry Pratchett readers should know what I’m talking about.
Anyways, I did not carry it around with me all day, because that would have been ridiculously inconvenient. I did not put it in a locker, because they don’t have them at the bus terminal. I did, however, have the greatest of lucks yet again. Maybe it was Karma, because I’d wanted to give my seat on the flight to somebody who was in more of a hurry than me.
All that time that I spent roaming Atlantic City, my backpack spent doing the same thing – but on the Jitney!!! Terri, the lady who drove the bus and gave me all the helpful tips about what to do and where to eat, kept it there for me.
As always, a series of fortunate events (I wish you had the same luck, Lemony Snicket) brought me to a point in time and space where everything worked out absolutely perfectly. When I got to the Jitney stop in front of the arrivals/departures terminal at ACY airport, I was told that I had just missed the last flight (the Jitney by the airport caters to flight passengers, so missing the flight means I missed the bus that took the passengers from the last flight into the city) and would have to wait about 40min for the next one and then I could also take the bus into the city. Taxis weren’t recommended as they’re expensive. The young lady who’d told me that walked me back to the terminal to show me where I could have a nice coffee while waiting and on the way we bumped into her boss, Terri. Without even thinking about it much she said she’d take me. She had to get some inspection sticker (what do I know about bus maintenance…) for the bus and said if I wasn’t in a hurry anyways I could just come with her and she’d drop me off wherever I wanted in the city – not the regular stop, wherever I wanted! So I went with her and she told me all sorts of things about the city and about herself and her family and, as I said, gave me tips. After getting the sticker thing she took me to the bus terminal, going slowly, though, so she could indicate where everything was located.
At some point during the drive I asked if she knew if there were any lockers in the bus station and she said no, but that if I took all my valuables with me, she would keep my big backpack on the bus with her. I think she had a few hours off then, during which time the bus would be securely locked, and then would start driving again at around 4PM. She said to give her my phone number and she’d give me hers and I could just give her a call whenever I was ready and she’d bring my backpack over to me, to the bus station, so I could just take it and hop on a bus.
Ah, but weren’t you scared she’d just take off with all your belongings? Naturally, that’s a though that will cross anyone’s mind in that situation. But I think it crossed my mind only because it’s protocol, not because I actually thought that could happen. For the practical mind: I had her name and her number and I knew where she worked and could simply call her boss and tell on her if anything happened. What really motivated me to trust her: she’s such a nice person! Really, though, that lady was one of the nicest people I have ever met when it comes to niceness of strangers. The kind of person that makes you believe that people are really good, deep down inside, you know?
After spending that awesome time in Atlantic City, it really only took a simple call and she said she had to drop some people off at the train station – or pick them up, I’m not entirely sure right now –, which is located about a block or two from the bus station. Ten minutes after I called her she was at the side entrance, where we had agreed to meet. She was happy to hear I’d had such a great time and wished me well for the rest of my travels. “Have a great life”, she said.
And did she want anything for it? No. All she asked was to, if I wanted, write a letter/e-mail to her company and tell them about my wonderful experience with her. Which I definitely intend to do. Just like I’m telling you now, I will make sure her boss knows how lucky he/she is to have such an incredibly beautiful person on their team. I hope they will do something about it, a raise or a promotion or something. She deserves only the best life can give her, because she makes other people’s lives better. Thank you, Terri.
Also, every single paragraph in this entry starts with an A. But that’s just a little bonus for me and my crazy OCD brain.