Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Here we go loopty-loop.... Here we go loopty-la...



I've complained before about Northern Virginia, and I'll complain again... however, lately things have been much better up here. I'm finding my way around better, our little apartment is perfect, and I absolutely love my doctors at the OB practice. However, there is one thing I have yet to come to terms with.

Traffic.

Before this month, I only complained about I-95 because that was the only road I ever traveled that was congested. Since I started temping, I'm all over the place... Fairfax, Reston, Lorton, and other places not close to where I live. Thus, I have had to aquaint myself with new routes, more traffic, and rude drivers. Yes, I have driven on 495 at rush hour, I've been on the Dulles Toll Road (and accidentally the express road to the airport with no exits!), I've gone through Centreville, Manassas, Fairfax, Lincolnia, Falls Church, Hernedon, Sterling, and many, many more little "towns" of NoVa. I have broken down crying hysterically while sitting in traffic on a rainy night in Fairfax, while Forrest calmed me down via phone (all the while, he was sitting in HOV traffic on 95 in the front seat of some strangers car... I pity the driver, who probably only heard "It's all right" 100 times that car ride). I have made wrong turns (YES!! Corinne made wrong turns!!) and almost gotten lost (I won't go so far as to say I was lost because, really, I knew exactly where I was, and got myself home without consulting anyone).

But..

Last night took the cake. I was trying to avoid the toll road, because... alas, I had no cash on me!! So I googled a map at work, and figured a new way home. Trusting my instinct (a bad thing to do when pregnancy has reduced your brain to mush), I headed home. I made a left turn on Hernedon Pkwy, and kept going, believing that Hernedon Pkwy turned into Fairfax Co. Pkwy. (for those of you who don't live in NoVa, just shake your head and say uh-huh with me) 45 minutes later, I realize, "Hey! I passed that building awhile ago!" THE.ROAD.WENT.IN.A.EFFING.CIRCLE. There was no sign to point this out to me. Nothing to let me know, hey! you're driving in circles! No I didn't make any turns, this is ONE ROAD. It's like getting on 495 and going round and round, only on 95, they let you know that you're doing that. So... there went 45 minutes of my commute home. To top it off, I accidentally got on the toll road again (with no money) and was like, CRAP! So I had to get on the Airport Road (no toll) and drive all the way to the airport. Yes... folks, Corinne was thoroughly turned around last night. I never thought I would see the day when I had no idea where to go. Thankfully, I knew how to get home from the airport... so I just went that way. 2 hours later, I finally arrived at home.
And if that wasn't bad enough? This morning? I brought exact change for the toll road (figuring it was easiest)... and the freakin' toll booth rejected my money!! It spit the money ON.THE.GROUND! So I'm sitting there, in the exact change line, franctically chucking pennies into the toll booth. I think it finally took 20 cents of my pennies, and spit the other 80 cents back at me... With the line of cars growing behind me, people leaning on their horns, and me on the verge of a meltdown, I said, Screw it, and drove through the red light. I feel horrible about it, and will probably get a ticket in the mail or something, but seriously? They got about $1.50 of mine, then spit it on the PAVEMENT!!!! Explain to me how this works? They don't accept your money (nickles and dimes), so instead of making a nice little return slot, it litterally spits the money on the ground. I know this because I opened my door in effort to collect some of my money (which prompted screams, horns, and several middle fingers) and low and behold... TONS of change on the ground.
All this to say....

I hate NoVa Traffic. Can I go home now?

6 comments:

Erika said...

GOOD LORD! People don't understand how crazy it is here, how sometimes I'd rather go all the way around 495 the wrong way than get off and reverse! The worst is when you want to go east on 66 at NIGHT and there is a 2 hour traffic jam!! You people are supposed to be LEAVING D.C.!!!

My husband ended up on the DTR one day with no money, and they made him sign something and we had to mail a check for $1.50 within like 3 days. He was MORTIFIED.

Reesh said...

Man I don't think I could handle it! It was hard enough reading about it. I don't normally drive at all, but given my current statis and the use of a free van, I have started driving to work. Honestly, I'm not sure pregnant women should get behind the wheel, traffic or no traffic, either I'm zoning out completly or I'm swearing up a storm at all the idiots on the road...

Matthew said...

I once was on a toll road here in California where you paid as you exited the highway. I threw my $1.50 into the basket and started to drive away only to realize it hadn't registered that I paid. I couldn't back up 'cause cars were coming up to me. So I just went. Sure enough about a week later I got a ticket in the mail. I disputed it and it was forgiven but jeesh!

The hardest part of moving to a new place is knowing how to navigate around it. I've been in San Diego for 3 years now. Around year 2 is when I finally started to feel like I knew where I was going.

Rude Cactus said...

Trust me...it gets better. Herndon Pkwy is the worst because you also have to watch your speed. Herndon's one of those places where they'll ticket you for going a mile an hour over the speed limit.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I'm moving no Northern Virginia in three weeks, and you are scaring me.

Odd Mix said...

Do you know by now that if you go through without money, they have you sign a bill and you can pay it the next time you go on the toll road (I think you have ten days)?

NoVa traffic is hard enough when you were raised here. I really feel for you.