Friday, May 9, 2008

Rant of the Day

This week I’ve been working in the lab and am being introduced to the experimental apparatus. This means that I’ve been staying at work later. I can’t stay too late, though, because otherwise I don’t have a way to get back home. The problem with having a science campus like the one here is that the bus connections aren’t all that great – for example the last bus towards the city center leaves at 7:45pm, and the absolutely last bus is at 8:30pm. Or so it stands written on the schedule.

Today, I needed to get some milk before the stores closed (most stores close at 8pm, others are open until 9pm), so I looked up the bus schedule and went to the bus stop at 7:30pm, which should have given me enough time, since the trip has been reduced to 20-30 minutes to the new apartment. The bus at 7:30pm didn’t come, but that wasn’t a problem, since there was a bus at 7:35pm (different route, but I take that one as well). That one didn’t come either, same as the ones at 7:39pm, 7:45pm, and 8:05pm. Since there was now only one bus left, and it was close to sunset, I decided to walk, at least to the place where I would have to change buses. After a little over 20 minutes of brisk walking, I came to the bus stop with a few minutes to spare before the 8:35pm bus was supposed to come. I guess you know what’s coming – that one didn’t show up either, so I walked for another half hour back home. Good thing too, because the next bus 15 minutes later apparently didn’t come either, since it didn’t pass me. Of course by now all the stores were closed.

You do have to wonder how something like this could happen. It’s not like there was a strike, since the buses that morning were running properly, and plenty of buses were heading into the bus depot, which is near the stop where I transfer. Maybe the bus drivers simply decided they didn’t want to work on Friday evening? I don’t have too much of a problem with buses being late on occasion or even the occasional bus not showing up, but at the end of the day when the bus schedule is pretty thin anyway, I need to be able to rely on public transportation to get home. And that simply does not seem to be the case here. The public transportation systems I encountered in Latin America were more efficient than this. And at least you knew in advance that you couldn’t rely on Charlottesville buses. Well, now I know that about Florence buses as well.

What I’ve learned is that I need a bike as soon as possible.


Working Title said...

if (need(bike, cheap))
   goto salvation_army; // ;-)

And I thought I had it bad because the buses in Christchurch operate within a 10 minute tolerance belt around their timetable...

Ben said...

Yes, but what is "Salvation Army" in Italian?