I left for Washington, DC from West Chester at 6:00 AM this morning, hoping to beat the worst of the morning traffic around the beltway. Sadly, however, a bus driver was shot in the city just before I left, and by the time I came through the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore, entire sections of 95, 495, and other major arteries had been entirely shut down for police checkpoints.
So I took a detour out route 70 towards Frederick, and cut down towards a tiny and cryptically marked “toll fery” on the highway map. It turned out to be White’s Ferry, a small car ferry across the Potomac river that was, for the very first time in its existence, choked with commuter traffic. It was a beautiful morning, though, and I was much happier to be stuck for an hour in the middle of a country road in a cornfield than stuck on I-95 with police helicopters buzzing overhead.
There were lots of shirted-and-tied workers watching the ferry go back and forth, taking a tiny fraction of the traffic load each time. One guy nodded at me: “Ni hau”, he said, greeting me in Mandarin chinese. Startled, I returned the only Mandarin I remember from college: “Hen hau. Nin hau ma?”.
He nodded again, and we both went back to watching the ferry cross the river.