S and me had a plan: go to the lake Raleigh in the morning until it gets got and than try to supply ourselves with enough food for at least a week. Our tentative deal suggested getting up at 7 am, which – encouraged by rustle downstairs – I indeed did. However, it turned out it was not S down there but our new roommate, M (also from India), who arrived yesterday but whom I did not meet as she was sleeping in the afternoon – just as I did only a few days ago. We had a nice morning chat and breakfast.
Once S was up as well, the first part pf the plan (i.e. trip to the lake) was cancelled and we approached to the task no. 2 directly: grocery shopping. Surprisingly, it was harder to achieve than I had ever imagined. I was so excited I can finally use my GoPass and take advantage of local bus transportation! Unfortunately, it did no happen this time as the bus came from a different road than it normally does, thus skipping the stop where we were waiting. Nice. We waited (and cooked) for several minutes, hoping another one would hope. As it did not seem to happen, we returned back home (thankfully, it was only a few minutes to walk) and after some studying of bus schedule we decided to go for Uber ride. It was an extremely fast and convenient way of transportation, and also an entirely new experience for me.
I do not dare to guess how long we stayed in the grocery store called Food Lion but it must have been a l o n g time. A thorough exploration of its range of good paid off – we got well stocked and hopefully, only basic stuff such as bread, fruit and vegetable will have to be replenish for some time.
My lunch could have tasted somewhat better but it looked so great that it is worth sharing:
After lunch I talked to my parents for the first time since my arrival and during the call I decided that I do not want to spend the entire day in the apartment. Let’s go inline skating. I already knew there was the Rocky Branch Trail running through the campus. Having discovered the wonderful TrailLink website and read about the trail, I just got super excited to give it a try. I set to go at about 3 pm which I thought was a good compromise between slowly declining temperature and 30% chance of rain. I did not feel the same a mere hour and 2.7 km later when it started to rain. Luckily enough, I was on campus at the moment and could therefore find some nice hideaway. From there I started to walk back after only few minutes as this shower did not last long. Overall, this very first inline skating attempt in Raleigh was a disappointment as the trail was by far not as great as what the website said. There were too many crossings, often time at the bottom of the hill, and is not exceptionally long either.
I also made a short trip to Walgreens where I inquired about pre-paid SIM cards or any other reasonable option(s) how to stay in contact. It was a slightly disappointing business as it did not lead to much progress in this issue. However, I appreciated the nice clerk who was extremely helpful, informative and gave me couple of suggestions what I might like and where to make such an arrangement. To sum it up, I do not think I will ever consider Czech phone services expensive again.
That trip to Walgreens was not entirely useless as I got a jar of grape jam (tomorrow I am gonna do pancake for breakfast – that is what I decided on while waiting for the rain to pass) and two treats for myself:my favorite Reese’s and some fig bars. As long as this $ 2.50 investment can help me to handle my eternal sweet-tooth, it will be considered a great deal and will probably happen again.
Another skating attempt took place at around 8 pm – pretty close to when it starts getting dark but hopefully the climate will be somewhat more comfortable. A got on the Rocky Branch Trail again – pretty much at the place where I gave up earlier and went to explore the other half of it (going west probably). First, I had to handle several stairs and later a faced slippery asphalt where the train canopies were too dense. The reward was sweet though. I reached the Pullen Park this way and immediately decided I want to come back – at the dusk again but with my camera this time.
As it was only a short ride to get to the park, I kept skating to the other end of the trail. And paid for that. It did not take too long until first lightening appeared and though I turned immediately and set to go back home, the storm was faster than me. About 10 minutes away from my temporary home, it started raining cats and dogs, accompanied by thunders and lightening. By the time I was unlocking the door, I was soaked to the bones and pretty sure this place in extremely unfriendly to skaters. Unsatisfied with only 3,4 km more added to my US mileage, I had a shower and joined M and S for a good night chat.