Monday, July 21, 2008

It's more than just great coats!

Does anyone else remember that company's slogan?

Miriam playing in the fountain on Church St in Burlington

All the language schools had a long weekend over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and with Jeremy’s rare spurt of free time, we decided to go to Burlington yesterday. Burlington is the “big city” around here. I say that not to mock, but to give you an idea of how small Vermont really is, both in size and population.

We endured a longer-than-it-should-have-been ride on the Burlington Link bus. I think that in some ways, living in Arizona has spoiled us because everyone and everything there has AC, including, for example, buses. I don’t know if the Link bus did have AC and it just wasn’t working, or what, but it was crammed full of bodies and I felt like a sweaty, fat pig for the whole ride. I passed the time by people-watching my fellow passengers (the usual comical mix of clean-cut young students and uncouth, unwashed homeless people) and also listening in on their conversations (English conversation is hard to come by around here, so it was good to catch up a little bit). By the end of the bus ride, I was left pondering the meaning of “sketch,” as applied to on-campus housing, and “hot mess,” as used by a young man who was going to Burlington to do some clothes shopping. I think the first word is an abbreviation for “sketchy,” which I kind of understand, but “hot mess” still eludes me (yes, I edit the dictionary, but give me a break on these two).

Burlington is a nice place. It has a hip main pedestrian drag, and when we were there, there was a farmer’s market going on. I think there is a farmer’s market going on at some place in the state of Vermont at any given time. It’s lovely.

We passed an über chic parenting store, whose name escapes me, mostly because what stole my attention was that the store sold a Swedish brand of maternity clothing called BOOB. And now, if someone out there Googles “Swedish boob,” they will perhaps stumble upon my site (if not worse, as I discovered yesterday when I naively Googled that term first before I learned my lesson and added “maternity clothing” for my next search). Yes, we did go into the store and look at the BOOB clothes, and they are awesome. Why must the Europeans continue to impress me so? BOOB makes nursing clothes, too, and they are far superior to all the American trap-door-style shirts and dresses I’ve seen. I loved everything about the clothes except the similarly European-style price. Oh well.

There was only one bus back to Middlebury that day, at the end of the day, which of course meant that we had taken a small risk traveling 90 minutes away from home without any reliable independent means of getting to the birthing center in case I went into labor. But I just knew that if I stayed home all day just for the sake of it, my body would mock me by not going into labor. So I tempted fate by going on a small trip and my body mocked me anyway. Again, oh well.

When we’d gotten our fill of the main street and chain stores (the first ones we’ve seen since being in Middlebury, because there aren’t any here), it was about time to catch the bus home. We walked back to the place where it had dropped us off and began to wait, even as we realized that all our fellow bus mates were lining up farther down the street, closer to the bus station. This leapfrogging tactic is a little trick we learned in the Middle East. It’s considered slightly unethical, but if you win, no one will call you on it because they wouldn’t have acted any differently. Sure enough – when the bus pulled around the corner, it saw us waiting first and stopped to let us on. We were the first ones to board, with our choice of seats on the shady side. Everyone else had to hustle over from what probably was, in fact, the real bus stop, to fight over the remaining seats. Jeremy and I laughed evilly to ourselves until he gave up his seat anyway for a woman, who in turn gave up her seat for a man with a cane. The gentlemen sitting in the “for elderly and disabled passengers” seats remained undisturbed.

It was a nice trip out of Middlebury, but at the same time, we're glad to be back.


JackJen said...

Oooooh. I've never been to Burlington. I've only heard that it was teeming with semi-drunken UVM students. =)

I'm glad you salvaged that reputation for me! I can't wait to explore vermont!

Jeanerbee said...

I love all your Vermont posts! I still want to come and see you - I will have to "reserve" our car one day so I can. Do you prefer after the baby since you are so close? What are you going to do with Miriam while you deliver??? I have been wondering this as I'm already stressed about what to do with Eli.... *hugs* for your last days of "confinement" =)

Anonymous said...


Suzanne Bubnash said...

Yes, Burlington Coat Factory--it saved our clothing budget when y'all were kids. Is it related to Burlington VT?

Lilianne and Jason Wright said...

Bridget, have that baby already. I want to see what she looks like - and I want to know her name!! Maybe all the walking is keeping her in there.

I can certainly relate with the "feeling like a huge pig." At least your baby doesn't weight 10.5 pounds already!! Good luck! We can't wait to see her and to have a playmate for Lois! :-)


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