Am I an idiot, or what?

So check this: I'm coming from New York City to my parents' house in joisey. Caught a 1:17 train, was supposed to get me into Montclair 'round 2. Problem was, this particular train required a transfer at Newark Broad Street. The conductor told me 'no problem. Just catch the train after this one that pulls in on the same track, it'll take you where you need to go.'

Fine. So I get off at Newark and catch the next train to pull into the station. As I hand my ticket to the conductor, he looks at it and goes 'you're on the wrong train. We're not going there.'

Fuck. Ok, so I get off at the next station (East Orange, as it turns out. Miserable little town and not the safest place in the world.) I cross the platform, wait an hour and sweet talk the conductor of the next train into letting me ride one stop back to Newark for free as, at this point, I've got a buck in my pocket. Awesome.

So I pull into Newark, switch platforms to go back the way I was and check the schedule. Next train's in ten minutes - at this point I'll only be an hour late. I run downstairs, get a snack with my remaining dollar and run upstairs just as my train's pulling into the station.

I get on the train and settle back, and then I notice that I'm on the wrong fucking train again, heading right back to East Orange but THIS time it's running express. I watch as the same East Orange train station blurrs past me and get off the train - broke, hungry and freezing my ass off - in Brick Church. I have ZERO idea as to where Brick Church is, I have sixteen cents in my pocket and no way of getting anywhere at all.

So I call up my friend Marcus who goes to school in New Brunswick, about an hour away by car. He's got nothin' to do and he knows I'm in dire straits so he comes to pick me up and drives me back to my parents'. Mom gives me money and I buy him dinner (ok, we split dinner, but I was gonna) and we make plans to hang out tomorrow. Worked out for the best for all of us.

The thing that irks me is: I've been doing the New Jersey Transit thing since I was a little kid, taking afternoons off of school to visit friends in different parts of the state from Dover to Greenbrook to Gilette to New Brunswick and I've NEVER had a problem like this one.

I got into Montclair two three hours late and feeling like a total ass, or more specifically like I didn't know my way around my home turf any more. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.