Tuesday, January 24, 2017


You know we travel a lot.  And that means we usually have to figure out local transport fairly quickly.    Let me just note that there are, of course, some differences between our previous location and our current one. Generally speaking, I've been embolden by our history with local transport to try new things and branch out.

 We've darted through town in rickshaws, with children hanging on for dear life.  I once rode perched precariously on the back of a friend's scooter while pregnant.  You may recall our all-night train ride bumping to Chennai with two young kids.  (I still can't fathom what we were thinking.) I drove a car through wild streets with cows in front of me and every manner of vehicle around me.  I drive here now too and the city metro is becoming our friend, slowly but surely.

But I've developed a sort of aversion to buses.

I'm going to blame it on South Asia. Buses are also affectionately referred to in our home as "Bullies," because of their careless driving tactics.  To exit a bus in South Asia, you need to be able to jump while it it still moving.  You need to forgo all sense of personal space and be perfectly acquainted with chaos.  This, as you might imagine, caused me a sort of panicked sensation whenever I considered using a bus with the boys.  I never did get over my fear of buses.  I just found other ways around town.

But Barcelona is a different beast.  I'm beginning to see that if I really want to conquer the city, I'm going to have to use buses.  Parking is a nightmare.  I simply cannot drive to most places within the city center.  We would just have to circle and return without stopping.  The metro is convenient....except when you realize that you just popped out at a stop that has no elevator and you have three little people and a huge stroller.

I am a bit ashamed to admit that in four months, I haven't boarded a bus because I was scared. I just can't seem to shake my aversion for buses.

This weekend, I bit the bullet though.  And it was love at first ride.  The bus signs are clearly marked. The driver was courteous.  There is a little ticket machine that readily accepts my metro card. My phone actually outlines the bus route for me.

And guess what?  I never once saw anyone jump from a moving bus.  These buses stop at every bus stand. It was so orderly, so efficient, so European. The craziest thing that even happened was my own wild two year old.

And that stroller popped right on.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

I completely get this! I rarely drive now - mainly due to parking, which is turning into a horrible borderline-irrational fear. I'm thankful that our boys are past the point of strollers, so we take the metro, tram, bus, or bikes pretty much everywhere. But if you ever come to Germany - you have to push a button by the door for the bus to stop at the smaller stops. If not, it just keeps on going!