Monday, July 26, 2010

Part Nine ~ Just a Long Drive. And Dinner

I followed the signs, not my GPS to get out of the airport and point towards Topeka. For some reason, they usually conflict. Once I'm on the main road it's pretty much a straight line to Topeka, then a short off-highway drive to the hotel. There is a toll road where you have to get a ticket and pay at the other end. A different GPS sent me in a slightly different way last time, but I could kind of figure out where I was. now I got my ticket, paid my toll, asked for a receipt, said thank you and that was about it.

No tires blowing up.

No cops stopping me for speeding.

No car breaking down.

No truckers honking in appreciation as they went by, or drivers staring. Or whistling. :)

No-one annoyed me badly (cutting me off and such). I have vehicular Tourettes which I'm trying to overcome. It's not very Meg-like.

No allergy attacks ~ fairly often, I get an allergic reaction to SOMETHING that makes my eyes water to the point that I have to pull over and that would really mess up my makeup. Another of my fears, unfounded.

Just a long boring drive.

I decided to stop and get takeaway, my compromise between not wanting to eat by myself and being Very Hungry. I made a poor choice.

I stopped at a Chinese restaurant (which I had trouble finding and I had to loop around until I did find it) a mile or two from the hotel. I think it was called the Jade Garden. I asked for takeaway and a woman behind the counter handed me one of those styrofoam containers with three compartments. The other woman looked thoroughly amused. This is OK ~ I like to make people laugh. Not one of my fears.

I was confused. I asked if they had a menu, and she said yes and handed me one. I looked around and saw a buffet. I guess most people get the buffet. $8 and fill the tray to the brim and go eat. I said "I think I'll look at the buffet" and did. I came back and said "I'll have the buffet". I think at this point I may have broken Meg's record for Most Words Spoken to One Person In An Uncontrolled Environment.

So poor choice: I could have sat down and not had to interact with a waitress. If I kept a low (quiet) profile, I'm sure I would have passed. (If you asked me eight hours earlier I wouldn't have been so sure.) I should have stayed, showed myself there's nothing wrong with eating alone and there would have been only one thing still outside my comfort zone.

I made sure I had some sauce and plasticware and napkins since I knew the hotel didn't. I drove the four or five blocks to the hotel and checked in.

I never enjoyed checking in to a hotel as much as I did that night. There was a man and a woman behind the counter. They were busy; the woman became available first. I'm sure she read me when I spoke; I don't recall if I had to give her my driver's license or just my credit card. She did exactly what I wanted: she treated me as she would any other woman. She made small talk about the weather, asked if an upstairs room was OK, and chatted about this 'n' that. The only thing that would've made me feel better at that moment would be if she complimented my outfit or earrings or something. I didn't need an elevator to get to my room. I just floated.


  1. Sounds like you are having a good trip. You're actually in my neck of the woods (almost, I am in St Louis) and my dad's family is actually from Topeka. If you see a "White Lakes Mall" that's my family homestead (or was). Enjoy the trip!

  2. You know, Meg, if I keep reading your blog posts you just might convince ME to go outside. :D


My day is brighter when I hear from my friends!