So many things come to mind when I think of steam: a sweltering, summer day after a rain shower that leaves steam rising from the sidewalks, my bathroom steaming up while I take a very hot shower during the cold winter, the whistling steam of the tea kettle to let me know that the water is ready for a warm, cup of spicy, or calming, herbal tea, or like today, the call of noodle soup and dumplings at Steam, one of my favorite lunch take-out places. It isn’t the closest place to my office so I have to be determined in my commute there and back. That basically means running if I see the bus coming and I have not quite made it to the bus stop. I had the opportunity to run three times today. Yes, three. I took the wrong bus at first.
The sun was shining as I left my office so I decided to take the sunny route to the bus stop, which meant heading toward the stop that is a little off the beaten path. When I was a block away I saw the bus coming and I took off running to make it. The buses come quite often but since I have a limited amount of time during my lunch I didn’t want to waste any time waiting for the next bus. I stepped onto the bus out of breath and took my seat. Suddenly the bus turned on the wrong street. Wait a minute. Did I take the wrong bus? I did indeed. Well, at least I could get off at the next stop and race around the corner over to the other bus stop to catch the correct bus. As luck would (or would not) have it, the right bus was approaching the stop. However I was stuck in the middle of the cross walk waiting for the traffic to clear so I could make a run for it, or wait for the light to change so I could finish crossing legally. I watched my bus go past me and pull up to the stop across the street. I wasn’t going to make it. As soon as the last car whizzed past I took off at a sprint to the bus stop. There was a long line of people getting on the bus so I probably would have been okay waiting for the cross walk sign. But why chance it? I was on the right bus now.
I arrived at Steam and at first I thought it was closed, however it was just that the window was fogged up (with steam!), thank goodness. I step in and was surprised to see the small space, that is usually empty, completely filled with people. They were standing everywhere and I couldn’t really see if there was an actual line. It was noodle and dumpling chaos. I guess everyone else thought noodle soup and dumplings sounded good for lunch today. I finally got my lunch and headed back to the office. Here comes run number three, the bus was crossing the bridge and I was around the corner from the stop with mere seconds to get there. I ran. Catching this last bus was the closest call today but I managed to make it and in the end I can say that it was definitely worth the effort. I think I will call my lunch commute today “the steam workout.”