Friday, January 28, 2011

Bus-ted

What's the difference between being a tourist and a resident, albeit a temporary one?  When you're a tourist and you're riding a city bus and it gets stuck behind a garbage truck, you might not even notice.  The ride is an adventure itself -- there are people whose outfits, behavior, and potential back stories you can analyze in your head, and there's always something of interest out the window.  But when you're a resident, it's that sinking feeling of "here we go again" while mentally recalibrating your route to your destination (bail at the next possible metro stop or keep going hoping things will improve?) and thinking about the excuses you'll have to make about your tardy arrival.   This happens more often than I'd care to admit, a product of the city's already narrow streets and the tendency of delivery vans to double park.  The RATP's bus drivers can move their vehicles through some pretty tight spots but some times there's nothing to do but wait. 

Yesterday, being stuck behind a garbage truck added a good 7 minutes to my ride, meaning that when I got to my transfer point, the only thing I could see of my next bus was its tail lights.  And as bad luck would have it, I was in a veritable public transportation no man's land, a fifteen minute walk to the nearest metro with only fifteen minutes left until my meeting.  Six euros and a taxi later, I was just a hair late.  Trust me, next time I'm taking the metro, even if I had to change trains twice.

3 comments:

Lost In Cheeseland said...

How funny, this is the EXACT same kind of incident that inspired me to start my blog and represents my very first post!

debbie in toronto said...

I am always amazed at how those buses squeeze down those narrow streets....have a good weekend Anne

Starman said...

But if you're not at least half-an-hour late, it's considered being on time in France.

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