One of my favorite Swarthmore memories is when my friends and I took the first Media shuttle of the year—it was a couple weeks into our first semester. We had been to Philly before, but we wanted to check out the nearby town. To our surprise, we were the only ones on the shuttle. In our minds, this meant, “Wow, Media must not be that popular.” We learned later on how wrong we were.
The plan once we got to Media was:
- Find the tattoo shop for our friends
- Walk around and explore
- Maybe find a place to eat
- For my roommate, Carlee, find the boba shop
- If there was time, run into Trader Joe’s real quick
But, it was just our luck, that it started to rain once we got off the shuttle. After a quick Google Maps search, we ran/fast-walked to the tattoo shop while taking turns under the one umbrella that one of my friends had brought—she’s always the most prepared for anything out of my friend group.
Luckily, we were mostly damp and not dripping wet once we got to the tattoo shop. And from then on, our Media trip was mostly successful.
We waited in the shop with our friends who were getting tattoos and when they were done, we all ooed and awed at them. Now, it was time to explore.
Our exploration didn’t last long because we all got cold pretty quickly—the wind that evening was no joke. We wandered and tried to find someplace to hide out and we stumbled upon a noodle bar, called Noodi, that had enough seating for our big group. It was so warm and had some really good food that warmed us up before we braved the cold wind outside. (This spot quickly became a favorite of ours and we tend to visit every time we go into Media.)
We no longer had the drive to keep exploring in the cold, so we found the boba shop that was a five minute walk away from Noodi. We walked in and found a lot of people that we knew from Swat hanging out at the tables and couches in the store. Most of us had never had boba before, so we didn’t order anything, but my roommate Carlee basically sprinted to get in line before it got too long.
While we waited, we checked the shuttle schedule and realized the last one was coming soon. After Carlee got her drink, we walked to the shuttle pick-up spot and stopped dead in our tracks. There were 10 other people waiting there.
We all started to count how many people there were in total and desperately tried to remember how many seats were in the shuttle.
As we anxiously waited, the shuttle finally came and everyone started to board. Our anxiety almost washed away until we realized that there were no seats left for our three friends who were still waiting to come on. We didn’t want to leave anyone behind so what did we do? Those of us in my friend group who were on the shuttle got off and decided to wait for another shuttle, which the driver promised us he would bring as soon as possible.
Not wanting to be in the cold any longer than we had to, we meandered back to the boba shop and hung out there, waiting. While we were waiting, those of us who didn’t order boba before—including me—decided to take a chance and try it. We ended up liking it and boba trips are now a must in our friend group.
We didn’t want to miss the shuttle whenever it came back, so we decided to go out and wait at the pick up spot. It was a little too quiet for our liking and we started to play music. Carlee gave us the suggestion of playing bachata music, so we did.
A few of my friends know how to bachata so they danced with each other and the rest of us wanted to learn, so we started an impromptu dance lesson on the sidewalk. It helped us keep warm and we had a lot of fun dancing with each other—bachata became our Media tradition after this, dancing together while waiting for the shuttle.
Eventually, the shuttle came and we all huddled on, still playing bachata music and starting to plan our next trip to Media.