I'm going to skip what actually happened during the swap.
Thanks guys for making me feel welcome!
Also, my abject apologies for running out like that but I think this will go a long way in excusing my actions in part.
People there may have noticed me fussing with my watch. I'm sorry but I was stressing about becoming late for work. I have a reputation; I am never late. I always arrive at least 30 minutes to 1 hour early, get to read the patient charts (( I'm a Nurse, by the way (and yes I capitalized that on purpose)) and help out before patient endorsement. And this night I was on duty starting 10:30pm.
Anyway I said goodbye when I could, exchanged "nice-to-meet-yous" with some and waved or GANed (grin and nod) to others and hastily made my exit (stage right).
Now the choice.. walk back or ride a trike. Trike won because my watch said so. To the Mini Stop DriverMan! Now when I got (err) off I was looking at a highway with an overpass running down the middle with a walkway huddled under the foundation. I did not remember coming across this on the way to Xocolat...and where was that LRT station? (totally forgetting that it's underground) so I crossed the street hoping to spot the station on the other side. It's pretty dark and my already weak eyes are even weaker in the dark...it's a problem as headlights tend to fill my field of vision, and what little low-light-adjustment that my eyes have achieved is stripped away, leaving me dazzled and in the dark - not fun. Anyway I manage to orient myself and turn myself around (thank you Street Vendors) Walking down the LRT station I turned on my MP3 and judged it time for a little unwinding...cue Bod Dylan.
With Visions of Johanna in my ears I puzzled over the card vending machine. Having scored a minor victory and claiming my terminal card I hurried to the turnstile, entered, and promptly got lost as to which way I'm going, finally got turned around and arrived at the platform and proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. After Ballad of a Thin Man and halfway through Brownsville Girl the train finally arrived. Ahh, sure feels good to sit down; The Ballad of Franky Lee and Judas Priest, You're Gonna Make me Lonesome, Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row, Percy's Song, Romance in Durango, Highlands, Tangled up in Blue, Day of the Locusts, Masters of War, With God on My Side.
As Bob was warbling out the first stanza of Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues, I exited the Recto terminus and glancing at my watch (8:56 pm) made my hasty way to the D. Jose station. Surprise, surprise a schedule informed me that the last trip fro passengers going from Baclaran to Monumento was 9:00 pm on weekends and holidays. Good thing I had time to spare.... 2 minutes exactly by the time I purchased my card.
Father of Night and about halfway into All along the Watchtower the train finally arrived. Now I was seriously thinking about dinner... fast food or street food. You know you're running late when you don't have time for "fast" food.
Talkin World War III Blues, Gates of Eden, Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol, Jack-a-Roe, and I was going down Blumentritt station when I decided, street pchops it is. 70 pesos for 2 greasy chops with extra grease and 10 pesos for 2 orders of rice with nothing extra please thankyuoverymuch. (2 of each as one is for my sister which will take a bit of convincing for my part..."These porkchops? they're err gourmet pchops." "Yes, yes, yes the restaurant had a sidewalk theme." "All the grease? It's uh virgin coconut grease." "Yes, you know from coconuts......")
Now from Blumentritt station to point A, it's about 8 blocks as a pigeon flies and 12 blocks as an askal runs.... a 50 peso trike ride, Shelter from the Storm, and Quinn the Eskimo later, I was home. Time: 9:40 or so, dare I lay out plates and kubyertos to eat? Ha! Eat from the plastic and hope I don't choke on the boulders they always put in the brownish 5 peso rice. Now a glass of water, a 15 minute bath. And by 10:25 I was on my way to work.