I am in a spot of bother with the Bus department, here is my story…
I catch a bus and a train into work each day, I love our public transport. I’m precious about this time I have, as my journey gives me extra reading time that I wouldn’t normally have, I can lose myself inside a book and have been known to miss my train stop trying to finish a chapter before my stop. I glance up to find I am in unfamiliar territory, pftt.
The morning bus ride is a favourite, I arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes early where I can breath in the crisp air, closing my eyes for a moment face upwards feeling the sun on my face, book open, knowing the driver will stop for me regardless. He opens the door with a cheery good morning and a welcome comment. He waits till I’m seated before he glides from the curb.
Reaching the train station
He gently rolls around the bends and into the train station, driving close to other buses as he sidles into the closest park he can get to allowing his passengers to disembark with a wave and cheery goodbye, that’s how mornings should be.
Scurrying through the station like our life depends on getting on that bloody train, tapping our smart riders, listening for the beep as the gate slides open, down the steps we race or down the escalator that gives us a view of the lines, eyes focused ahead seeking out the trains lights in the distance.
I patter down the steps, walk towards the end of the ramp, searching for a spot in the sun and continue reading and so on..
Coming home is a different story. I don’t know why, the majority of of the bus drivers in the afternoon are cactus, hit 2pm and grumpy takes over.
The train and bus times tables don’t link up very well, ask anyone. It has been suggested by a lovely man at the bus depot that I either take my time in the city and do a bit of shopping first or leave work earlier or later so that the train I take coincides with the bus time table…. enough said.
The bus depot
I wait at the bus depot under a whisper of semi-shelter in the heat, wind, rain or cold, there are times a wind finds it’s way into places you forgot you had. My gripe is that, just as you exit the train station the bus driver is moving away from across the stop down the way a bit from the trains entrance, and the driver is doing their best to ignore you despite the fact that you are waving them down. They look the other way either as they have moved too far away from the curb and aren’t allowed to stop or they can’t be bothered opening the doors again. I have taken to walking down the road in front of them so that should they decide that I don’t exist they will have to run me over first. Maybe not the smartest of moves.
If that’s not sad enough, the ride home is not dissimilar to being in a fair ground dodgem car. They screech around corners, jerk on and of the brakes, we all lurch forward and backwards, it’s a race. I hold on for dear life to my book, bag and seat. One time a driver himself nearly fell of his seat, he had to shift his bottom back into the seat otherwise he would have fallen off. I have hurt my back as the drivers roll, bend and jerk around the street. They have been playing playstation before their shift no doubt. I am not being biased but rarely have I experienced a woman bus driver, drive like this.
I am well and truly fed up, so have decided to take my car to the train station and back. I registered my smart rider so I can tap and go my parking fee of $2. Reasonable but that $2 adds up and my conscience pricks that I am using my car and adding toxins to the air and I have lost valuable reading time to boot, imaginary needles stab me all over screaming DON’T DON’T DON’T.
This is where I land myself in trouble
Two days in a row I walk back to my car to see I’ve received a parking ticket, WHAT THA! I have tapped my card and waited till the screen said okay I was good to go. I’m mortified as I’ve done the right thing and my ethics and values wouldn’t have it any other way. I sent of an email asking for a please explain. Kicking myself for not taking a photo of the machine to say I have successfully paid. I pondered all night and the next day I paid again with my smart rider, wondering where I had gone wrong, the lovely machine flashed that I was good to go. Returning at the end of the day I find another ticket tucked under my window wiper. Embarrassed, looking around, I quickly shoved that fine in my bag, picturing that the parking inspector probably jumped up and down in joy that he has got me again.
That night I found the courage to tell my husband what’s been happening, he being full of smartness, asks me all the stupid questions like I’m an idiot and don’t know anything suggested I check that I have the right car registration number registered on my smart rider. The next morning at the crack of dawn, I fire up the lap top, to double check and of course he was right. Instead of the number 1, I had the letter I. Now I am to plead my case to the authorities. What do you reckon my chances are that they are going to put it down to me having a blonde moment and letting me of the $100 fine I have accumulated. Yes I am blonde.