Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Like Riding in my Car.

Today I decided to go to work on the bus. The sun was shining and it was a lovely hazy morning, so I thought it would be the ideal day to try out the local bus service. So I set off early just to make sure that I had plenty of time, I wasn't sure of the bus times. Actually I wasn't sure of the numbers or in fact the route!

There is a bus stop a short walk from where we are living, so a couple of minutes later I was standing at the stop. Hmm, it was 8.45am and I was alone at the bus stop, that was the first clue. Children were on their way to the local high school and as one group of teenage girls passed me there were a couple of remarks made behind the safety of their hands to each other, then sniggers as they looked in my direction. Clue number two. After checking that my skirt wasn't tucked into the back of my knickers and that nothing else was 'hanging' out that shouldn't be, I realised that they knew something I didn't!

Fifteen minutes later and I was still at the bus stop, still alone at the bus stop. Then a lady walking her dog approached me.

"Excuse me dear," she said shyly, "but are you waiting for the bus?"

Yes, I did resist the temptation to point to the huge bus stop sign and shelter and utter Duh!!

"Erm yes, but I've been here a while and I'm not sure about how regular they run," I replied politely.

"Oh they are regular dear,"

"Great, how often do they run then?"

"Three times," she replied confidently.

"Three times an hour, oh good that means there must be one due, I must have just missed the last one,"

Her face dropped. "Actually dear it's three times a day, 8.30, 12.30 and 3.30. But they are as regular as clockwork!" With that she obviously noticed the dark look on my face and decided to cut and run.

There I stood hands in the air, "but, but, butting" like a demented lawnmower. This is one of the biggest cities in the country. They are constantly wittering that people should make use of public transport in order to prevent congestion and environmental damage. I have just moved from a small village in Kent, there we had four buses a day. I am absolutely gobsmacked.

As it turns out, if I walk three quarters of a mile up the road there are buses every fifteen minutes into the city. So that's what I did. What the driver didn't tell me, when I asked for a ticket to the nearest stop to the station was that the nearest stop to the station is a mile away. So on my way to work this morning I managed to do a small workout by walking one and three quarter miles.

I got a taxi home, yes call me a wus, but I didn't fancy the idea of another mini hike. Oh ok I'll be honest, it's been gloriously sunny today and I just didn't fancy being trapped on a hot bus with a load of 'sweaty bettys'. For the foreseeable future I shall drive to work, pay the exorbitant parking fees and sit in the jams. I shall however be reclined in a comfy leather seat, singing along to the radio in air conditioned comfort.

Forget the lectures on the environment, I recycle everything I possibly can, I even have a wormary in my kitchen, I use energy saving bulbs, I use water from the washing up etc to water my plants and I collect rain water in a water butt, (this was essential in Kent as they've had less rain than the Kalahari dessert last year). But until buses run regularly without the need for a hike, with air conditioning and dare I mention deodorant dispensers for those who either forgot theirs or can't afford it, I shall continue to rebel and use my car.

7 at confession:

Sven said...

They don't make it easy do they?

Nikki said...

I prefer my car as well. I used to car pool for a bit when I worked quite a ways away, but having 3 catty women in the car just didn't work for me.

I drive by myself these days.

WBS said...

I tried the bus from Oxford to Uxbridge - it sounded great, it runs every 10 or 15 minutes.

Trouble is, it's the far side of Oxford so takes 30 mins to get there and then the bus takes an hour and a half or more to get to within 2 miles of where I work, there's no buses from where it drops me off, so it's a walk, quite nice in this weather but last week?

I can normally (wonderful M40 traffic permitting) do it in about an hour and a half - less if I'm very lucky.

Like you, I'll be sticking with the car from now on.

Chris Pittock said...

For 12 years I used the train to get to work, but I contantly had a cold. I didn't realize how I'll it made me until I started using my motorbike.

I now have all the air-conditioning I could ever want. Although I could do with less in the winter 8-)

Kate said...

When I lived in the Cotswolds our local service ran three times too - three times a week. Actually it was three and a half. On a Friday you could get a bus to a nearby town, but it didn't come back. LOL

You'd be so envious of the service I enjoy now - buses run every seven minutes and the stop is 50 feet away. I only live in a village, so you'd think they could have a comparable service in a city.

Pete said...

every time i use a bus i'm reminded why i don't.

the service here is pretty good though every 15 minutes

as chris says public transport is great for colds and the like

kim said...

i think you balance out there ..at least you give it an effort :) i cant say that i would give up the independence of coming and going as i need to ...im too much of a control freak and way too unorganized,id never make it on time !

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