Today I made my first successful bus ride in the Garden City. Alone! Hooray for me!
Being in a place where the language is alien and getting directions from passersby is equally hopeless, being able to traverse by city bus is a useful an important accomplishment. My cousin dropped me off at the bus stop and waited around till I caught the bus. Then it was smooth sailing from there.
The bus was a Volvo and air-conditioned, therefore relatively dust-free. Though crowded when I got on, I managed to secure a seat of sorts before reaching the next stop. I say ’of sorts’ because it wasn’t really a seat.
I sat round observing the people in the bus – I could see guys and gals with earphones plugged in and listening to music. The speakers on the bus were blaring out some local FM station, though it wasn’t as offensive as the loud music belched out on some TNSTC buses. Several were wrapped up in jackets as it can be a little cold in the mornings in GC (short for Garden City). The bus had a convenient digital display inside, indicating the upcoming stop – this is very handy for someone trying to learn the places. Got to say that this ride was much more comfortable than a car ride to Office as -1. It is more spacious, 2. Got lots of things and people to watch, 3. Got to keep on my toes if I am to get off at the right stop J
Another interesting observation – out of the 20 or so women on the bus, 5 had the same type of handbag. That makes around 1/5th of the female populace carrying the same bag. Hmmm…..to think that I came so close to buying the very same bag….brrrrrr…..boy am I glad I skipped that one in favour of another when shopping for handbags before coming to GC.
At a particular signal, I could see almost everyone getting out of the bus….and I too followed suit. Then came the heckling with auto drivers over the fare to my actual destination. Finally we settled on Rs.30 as the fare. And just as luck would have it, the auto-guy goes and drops me on the wrong side of a shopping mall (though I didn’t quite realize it at the time) and I was virtually lost. I tried walking in one direction and realized that I couldn’t find my office anywhere there. Then I walked the other direction and all I could see there was a petrol bunk. Finally, I resorted to calling my cousin bro and asking for directions. Thankfully, all I had to do was cross to the other side through the mall, walk a short distance and I was at my Office. So that was another disaster averted.
Thus, I successfully navigated 16 km to reach Office :-)