My roommate gave me a ring and asked where I was; I calmly replied that I was on my way back! I don’t know how come I was that calm when attending the call – perhaps I was dreaming about another large bus terminus like the one we have in New York but was surprised to find that this bus terminus hardly had any building. Maybe there was something but in the middle of the night I couldn’t make out anything. It seemed more like a cluster of bus stops rather than a bus terminus. There were hardly any buses at present and as I got off I asked the driver about where to take the return bus. He told me to wait for a while. It was past 10pm and as I stepped on to the pavement I noticed that there were just a few people around; three adult men and a couple of children running around each of the bus stops. The sight of the kids relieved me a little; the men were burly and shared some jokes with the driver which I couldn’t hear. The area was completely deserted with nothing in sight except for the seven of us. It was chilly and it was frightening to be stranded in an unknown land at night – and in such situations the mind recollects all unpleasant news and movies which are set in similar conditions (highway robberies, Texas chainsaw murders, horror stories)! I stood there gazing around, with all my senses on high alert, waiting for what seemed like eternity (though in reality it was just five minutes) for the bus to start.
This time around I was wide awake in the bus eyeing each and every stop. There were a few people who boarded the bus in bus stops even at this hour of the night – it was 10:15 pm – maybe they were working in night shift. After 15 minutes I began wondering whether I had missed my stop again; somehow the surrounding seemed as if it was after our house – had I slept off unknowingly? My fears were laid to rest when Walmart came in sight; I was delighted and immediately got off in the next stop – in fact there were many people who got off in that stop. It was great to be back in familiar territory.
On another weekday my colleague and I decided to go for one of the Broadway theatre musicals. There were plenty of them concentrated in that area – maybe 10 to 15 theatres each one running a different show. There was Lion King, Les Miserables, the phantom of the Opera and many more. The Lion King was sold out and having done some research we thought of trying out “The Phantom of the Opera” since I had already read the book on “Les Miserables”. My colleague had doubts as to whether we had to be dressed in formals but I remember seeing people enter the theatres in casual wear. The cheapest tickets were $27 while the costliest was $111 (the closer to the stage the higher the price). As we debated over what ticket to go buy, the cashier said that there were a couple of seats in the front available at a reduced price – the $100 ticket available for half the price. Looking at the seating chart those two seats were in the rightmost corner but we decided to go for it. My friend bought an illustrated booklet about the Opera to get an idea about the story.
We were really hungry but didn’t have more than 20 minutes to spare for the show – to our utter disappointment we couldn’t locate even a single fast food joint nearby; it was probably the first time that I couldn’t find a McDonalds or Burger King in New York! We settled for a bakery where we had a quick snack before returning to the Majestic Theatre.