November 07, 2004

On the Importance of Knowing One's Bus Route

If one should decide to save on cab fare by walking into the city center from a friend's house and taking the Nightlink bus home, there are a few things one should and should not do, especially if it is one's first time using the Nightlink bus.

One should not assume that if the bus' number is 15N it will have pretty much the same route as the 15, except, you know, at N(ight).

If one should find that the bus' route deviates abruptly and considerably from the expected, one should not stay on the bus thinking it will circle back to a more familiar area momentarily, whether or not the description of the route on the sign would lead one to think so.

One should not further presume, once it becomes clear that one has no idea where the hell one is, that the bus will loop back to the city center and that one can get off at some point during the return journey.

When the bus driver kicks one off the bus at the last stop, Arse End of Nowhere, one should head toward the gas station on the corner to see if one can find an ATM.

Further, when one reaches the corner and realizes that the busy dual carriage-way (a small highway) one is standing in front of is the same busy dual carriage-way that passes close by one's house, one should commence to walk down it rather than hunting for either an ATM or a cab, both elusive at this late hour. After all, one merely has to walk straight down a mile or two, take two quick lefts, and bang, home.

One should do this despite the fact that there is no sidewalk alongside the road, just a soft and grassy shoulder, whose dew-bestrewed leaves will soak through one's shoes in about ten minutes.

After about twenty minutes, one will feel relieved to see a large roundabout, for one remembers from trips to the airport that there is a single such roundabout between the exit for the M50 (the road to the airport, a highway which encircles Dublin and defines the city limits proper) and the turnoff to one's street.

About ten minutes after that, one should feel dismayed and bewildered to see a second large roundabout, even bigger than the first and totally unfamiliar, along with signs for the M50. One is permitted to worry that one has been going in the wrong direction this whole time. One shall, however, persevere, because now one has to find an ATM again. One will walk through a creepy and desolate pedestrian underpass, studiously ignoring the drunk teenagers walking in the other direction.

One shall emerge from the second roundabout and think, "Hey, actually, that Texaco looks kind of familiar." One will walk about 100 yards more and realize that one was actually on the other side of the M50, thus accounting for the unfamiliarity, and that one in fact is now where one thought one was 40 minutes ago. With new, firmer sense of geography, realize this means that if one continues straight about a mile or two one should be able to take two quick lefts and bang, home. One should consider further that hailing a cab at this point would be a pretty pussy move. One should continue on and arrive home in approximately 20 minutes.

To sum up:

Time for homeward journey: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Proportion of that time spent walking: 73%

Cab money saved: Pric--- actually, it was about 12, 15 bucks. Probably ten if you deduct the bus fare. Strike that.

Life Lessons Learned/Sense of Geography Gleaned: Priceless.

As a final note, if one should ever find one's stomach unpleasantly sloshy after a rich meal and several glasses of red wine followed by a brisk half-hour walk, try following that up with a forty-five minute bus ride and another brisk hour's walking. It's oddly invigorating.

Posted by Diablevert at November 7, 2004 10:57 AM | TrackBack

Sull: I too hate it when the dew-bestrewed leaves in the Arse End of Nowhere mess up my kicks for a long walk home.

Just watching your language, for now.

Posted by: Strunkface Jones at November 20, 2004 10:44 PM

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