austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Turn now to the younger dreams of pirate kings and buried treasure

We worried about getting up on time for bunny_hugger's interview, particularly since given the chance I'll sleep until dusk, and she had left her cell phone (which serves as her travel alarm) in the car. And when she phoned the desk to place a wake-up call nobody answered. Apparently they were asleep.

But I found the room alarm clock and set it for seven, which she tested. And she set up her computer to sound an alarm. I suggested she try the front desk again and this time they took her wake-up call. So we had alarm clock, telephone, and computer to wake us up. She got up after a restless night ten minutes before all the alarms.

We left way early to get to campus, since who wouldn't, but even getting around Lancaster's downtown and its statues we found campus to be a roughly two minute drive away. This gave us time to sit in the lobby of the main building, and consider its circa 1990 community college/mildly upscale corporate office strip mall architecture. They support a (monthly) student newspaper, too, and we read with delight the accounts of the student government election and the letter of the first runner-up in the recent presidential election. It swung between sarcasm, bitterness, outrage, and proclamations of how he had his First Amendment rights and was going to exercise him in the most precious way. There was also an article about how at Multicultural Spring Break day ordinary foods like hot dogs were served alongside exotic fare like Chinese food and the students ``did not mind''.

bunny_hugger's interview was to be several hours, so I wandered around campus myself. I spent some of the time photographing campus since bunny_hugger's parents wanted to see it, although there's not much to see. It's a pair of three-storey brick-front buildings of no particular design style. Even the bookstore didn't have any special college-specific articles that would make good souvenirs. However, I did encounter two rabbits while circling the buildings, so there's that.

Exploring campus and photographing the heck out of it took about a half-hour, and I had a couple hours yet to go. So after investigating the library (about the size of a branch library's, and organized by --- shiver --- Dewey Decimal rather than Library of Congress number, though it had some decent space and history books) I set up in a cafe, read, and waited. It turns out refills on iced tea are only 25 cents, so the college has that going for it too.

bunny_hugger made it through her interview in good order and spoke with several groups of people, all of whom I gather asked the same questions and some of whom even listened to the answers.

Where to go for lunch? bunny_hugger's satellite navigator had some restaurants in the area, so we tried first an Italian place that turned out not to have much seating. The next turned out to be a Vietnamese restaurant, open just a couple hours for lunch, and with it being just across the road from the college, mm, that's in the school's favor anyway. It had a good array of soy-based dishes as well as mock duck, and I was reacquainted with one of those dining truths I keep rediscovering and also keep forgetting: I really like baked pineapple. I don't know why but I can go a year or more without having it, and still like it every time. They served soda by bringing glasses and opening cans in front of us, which allowed me to notice we were in the area where the amusement park coupons on a can of Diet Coke were here for Six Flags America, rather than Great Adventure. Thus do regional identities survive.

Even after lingering over lunch the time was approaching when we had to separate. She returned me to the train station --- in the midst of heavy renovations, but still old enough that the top of the building proclaims ``PENNSYLVANIA'' (as in, I assume, the Pennsylvania Rail Road) --- and though we admired what we could see of the architecture, she did have to drive to Baltimore to get her plane back. I had time to read before getting my train back.

Since I was going to the end of the line I was less worried about not being able to hear any train announcements. The only one I'm sorry I missed was some explanation of a several-minutes stop outside Philadelphia. And there were a dozen or so Pennsylvania Dutch passengers riding in my car, all the way to Manhattan, giving that bit of Lancaster atmosphere to the proceedings.

Back in Manhattan, I got out of the train station and up to the subway platform on the dot to ride up to the Port Authority, and then got through buying my bus ticket in time to join the line as it boarded my bus. I could not have timed the transfers better, and arrived at the stop outside Jersey Mike's to be picked up by my mother and ride back home, ready to hear how bunny_hugger's return home went.

And that was my happy weekend.

Trivia: The stock certificates for the Penn Central railroad were engraved in July 1966 and kept in the vault of West Philadelphia's Security-Columbian Banknote Company until the Pennsylvania Rail Road and the New York Central merged on 1 February 1968. Source: The Wreck Of The Penn Central, Joseph R Daughen, Peter Binzen.

Currently Reading: The Anything Box, Zenna Henderson.


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