Take a Bus on the Wild Side – Or How Buses Hate Us
So, today began smoothly, for once. I’d arranged to go into the neighbouring city with a friend. We took the Public Bus Service into the city since the nearest train station is about a half hour walk. We came into the city with no problems and spent an hour or two looking at things we can’t buy (the Rock Band drums teased me to no end). At around 5pm, after having a quarter-pounder and milkshake, it was time to use our return tickets and go home. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Now the problem with buses is that there’s so many different routes and numbers, making it bloody confusing to know where you go to. Hell, there were about 20 different places you could go to from this one bus stop. When we finally found the right tables of bus times, we became even more confused trying to make sense of it. A kind old woman overhears our confused comments and tells us that the number 3 (our bus) was leaving right now, but if we were to run after it movie-style we still wouldn’t catch it. The woman then tells me there is a bus number 401 that goes right through my town. Being optimistic, we went up to this bus…but the PMS’ing bus driver basically tells us to bugger off. At this point we walk off and discover that much to our surprise the number 3 bus had come back. We got on and headed home.
At first the bus started heading in the right direction towards my house, but as time went by, we realized that we were nowhere near our destination. “Well it’s OK”, I thought to myself, “this is just part of the journey, right? Right?” WRONG. The bus took us through a completely different town. If i hadn’t asked the bus driver where this bus ended up, we would have gotten off there. Luckily we ended up going round in a loop and we were back at the bus station we arrived at an hour ago. This time we got the right number 3 bus which was in THE EXACT SAME place that the wrong bus had been on. Both Number 3, both at the same part of the station. How were we supposed to know the difference? The bus system, at least here in the UK, needs to be much clearer so that stupid shit like this doesn’t happen again.
Looking back, that half an hour walk to the train station would have been worth it, because the trains make sense.