May the Buses be Ever in Your Favour

Posted: December 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’ve had a couple of people express incredulity about my 4-work-bus-trip day as mentioned in a post a couple of days ago. I’d like to clarify, that’s 4 buses A DAY. 2 there, 2 back. A perfectly manageable trip, not the trek to the Outer Hebrides I may have accidentally led you to believe! I currently get a Kangaroo ticket a day & will be looking into the card option. Once the cost is covered and a routine established, all will be well.

It’s not been without its teething troubles. The job is in the general reagion of the Queens Drive Industrial Estate. When I went for the interview there, I got a bus to Castle Boulevard and tried to cut across that way. Yeah, no, not doing that again unless I absolutely have to – I ended up walking for at least 20 minutes trying to find the place. Even knowing where it is wouldn’t cut it down by much.

I’ve experimented with bus times and bus routes, and the most solid step is getting one of the 36s into town and heading to the estate from there. On my first day I set off in plenty of time, got to the Victoria Centre and sought out the Citylink bus stop. After 10 minutes I found myself almost at Broadway Cinema, flustered and wondering where the hell I’d gone wrong.

Time running out, I rushed down to Mount Street to get the Citylink there. Once I found the bus stop, I took one look at the timetable and couldn’t see the stop I needed to get off at. Being unsure of whether or not I’d make it there on time, in one piece and/or alive, I looked to a different bus that would drop me off almost outside the building itself – but those were few and far between. Even worse, as I found that evening as I staggered to the bus stop, mind buzzing with new information, there are only 3 of them in an evening! Two about half an hour apart, then one at 9pm! Utter rubbish, no good to me at all.

To make a long story short (TOO LATE), I’ve ridden Citylinks and W2s and 48s and paid careful attention to my stops and traipsed around the city centre for the past couple of evenings. I think, I think I can establish a routine with a couple of failsafe backups. I don’t like to be late to work, ever. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt that declared I had a pisspoor attitude. Never again. If you have a job, you should make the effort of being there on time. People are relying on you, paying for your time. Be worth the cost.

Today I managed to get home within an hour and a half, which is not unreasonable allowing for rush hour traffic. I’ve also established a reading routine. In the morning I can’t really focus on much, so I stare blearily at a book until the words start to sink in. In the evenings my mind is still pretty active from the day’s work (or, currently, learning) so I listen to an audiobook on my phone. Keeps me from focussing on how bloody cold it is.  It’s my first time listening to an audiobook in a long long time & I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s the Hunger Games, which is better than I anticipated. I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

There’s something soothing about handing over control of the reading to someone else, letting their words wash over you. It’s a throwback to the grand oral tradition of storytelling. Plus with my earphones in the weirdos on the bus think I’m listening to music and leave me alone. Always a plus. The downside is that I look at them all and wonder who’d win in a pitched battle to the death. I can take the scrawny ones. Probably. If they were asleep.

Are you still reading? Have I not lulled you to sleep with all this talk of buses? Today’s blog post reads a bit like the incredibly boring priest from Father Ted has written it.

I’ll quit while I’m ahead – off to sleep to dream of buses and books and jobs old and new.

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