While in Miami recently, my friend and I went to dinner at this Peruvian restaurant where we learned about Miami time aka no one is on a schedule except me. (I would say this might have been Peruvian time, but this continued to happen everywhere I went in Miami.)
By the time we left the restaurant (by the way, I recommend Peruvian food), it was close to 11, so I offered to walk my friend back to her hotel. On the way we cross a bridge that sports this view:
On the way to my friend's hotel originally, I noticed the bridge rattled a bit, but everything in Miami is different, so no biggie. But on the way to the restaurant, I saw the bridge rise - and it all made sense. And made me feel less safe about crossing the bridge because, uh, why does it rattle so?
The first rising was quick. Up and down it went.
Flash forward to present moment: We are crossing the bridge again when we hear that nautical siren sound. And then an electronic voice:
"Clear the bridge. Please, clear the bridge."
My friend and I sigh. What bad timing. But we stop crossing and wait. We would have retreated, but the gate had come down behind us already and we weren't actually on the section of the bridge that rises.
Meanwhile, several foreigners are crossing the bridge. Obviously I'm making some assumptions here about them being foreigners, but a.) we're in a pretty international city (for America); b.) they spoke a different language when they passed us eventually; and c.) they do not seem to register the siren or the words "Clear the bridge." Because they do not pick up their pace. In fact, they pause, gaze around, and then continue ambling down the sidewalk while chatting about something on their phones.
And then there's this older man behind them WHO IS DOING THE SAME THING. Can you all not run? Do your calves not do that?
The siren continues to bleat and the voice reiterates,
"Clear the bridge."
Finally, they are across. And I'm just like, I'm trying to get my friend home and get back to my hotel; can we get this show on the road?
AND THEN THESE BUGGERS BIKE ACROSS THE BRIDGE. They're on the adjacent sidewalk, and they dart across. Like, they had to lift their bikes above the gate, I'm pretty sure.
My friend and I could have strolled across this bridge by now. Maybe taken some Instagrams, too.
"Clear the bridge. Please clear the bridge."
Cars start honking. I don't blame them; my friend and I have now been waiting for almost ten minutes.
And you want to know why the bridge is rising? For this!
That little tugboat thing. Who is blaring Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do."
- Does the bridge even need to rise for that baby yacht?
- Is there no schedule for these bridge rises? Can any ol' boat just float across anytime?
- I hope you get lucky tonight, captain/owner of the boat, because I am throwing 50 shades at you! I am not loving you like you do.
FINALLY, the gates descend on both sides. Hurry through, tugboat.
"We need all pedestrians behind the gate."
Cue eye bulge from me.
Dear Electronic Voice, my friend and I have been standing here waiting for this bridge to rise for the better quarter of an hour, watching these deaf fools wander across like bridge-dazed idiots, meanwhile years become seconds, and now - just now?!?! - you realize we're not behind the gates?! We definitely heard you say "Clear the bridge," and I thought we were above that fray, standing back waiting when we could have crawled across on only our forearms in the amount of time I have been watching foreigners and bikers and old obstinate men cross this thing! I'm confident that if this was the bridge where Gandalf faced that fiery demon in the first Lord of the Rings, we would have heard him hit the bottom of the abyss by now.
And the gates are down! You put down the gates! Where do you expect us to go?!
So we retreat backward (we should have marched forward, sock it to the voice!), and crawl - yes, crawl - beneath the gate so we can watch the love boat glide out of the port.
Three minutes later, the bridge is back down, and we're across. Except it's actually twenty minutes later.