Tuesday, July 31, 2012

update: further troubles with buses

This actually happened a day or two ago, but it's taken me awhile to calm down enough to write about it.  Just when you think you've experienced anything that can go wrong on a bus ... you get trapped in your seat at your stop, miss the stop and have to get off at the next one and madly dash the distance back to arrive breathless at work just before you're due to teach.  And you thought you had a rough Monday.

Yeah, basically what it was was that I was by the window and there was a lady next to me who realized I needed to get out but had to wait for the others to get past her and by the time they did and she did and I got past the door was closing in my face.  I called out to the driving but he was busy training a new driver and didn't hear me and continued on to the next stop.  Literally, it's the stuff my nightmares are made of.  You try being a teacher and showing up five minutes before class starts and then tell me you don't have the same nightmares of being stranded in cabs that are going to get you there fifteen minutes late.

Moving on (phew), there are still further possible wrongs with buses.  Today, for example, I was trying to get on the bus at Broadway (a very busy stop, granted) but there were tons more people that usual just milling about at the bus stop.  Finally it dawned on me that the red 30 bus stopped there was actually out and out stopped and had shipped all its passengers off and was sitting there making an odd hiccuping sound in the background.  (Blooper number two of the post:  your bus can point blank break down.  I've been on it when that happened.  At night.  Just south of Dee Why.  On Thanksgiving.)  That at least explained the abundance of unwanted guests on the sidewalk.

A bus pulled up and began to let the throngs on.  It was getting full and another bus pulled up two buses behind it (the intermediary went to a different place).  I decided to stick with the line for the first one.  Which would have worked great if when it was my turn the driver hadn't slammed the door shut in my face.

Now I understand that when the bus is full they can't let any more passengers on.  What I don't understand is how you can snap the door shut without warning (I could easily have been in its way) and (ahem) how you snap the door shut when there are still seats left on the bus!

Oh, it was a bad moment for Sydney public transport and I.  A bad moment indeed.  Certainly not helped by the fact that the final bus in the lineup very nearly stood me up too (had it had a different driver I'm pretty confident it would have; as it was I just barely got noticed and catered to, but I think that was only because I was backed by a crowd of other angry bus miss-ees).  Thankfully it didn't, but all too often it is the case that the bus feels its done its duty by stopping entirely too far down (say, behind three other buses) and then speeds off into the middle lane while you, patiently waiting at the actual bus stop, are left without getting on at all because what you needed wasn't the first, second or third bus at all, but the traitorous fourth one.  Fourth bus syndrome, I think I'll call it.

Now if only someone could come up with the cure.

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