I moved to Sydney, Australia for adventure and gorgeous views; but my first adventure was trying to figure out how to get to the University of Sydney from my house the first day of orientation week.
It was harder than it needed to be…it was a misadventure I’d say!
Having learned how to ‘public transport’ (why yes…I made it into a verb) in London I expected the Sydney train and bus transport to be just as modern. This assumption came after having rode the trains here the day before. I assumed the buses to be just as high-tech. The trains had Air Conditioning and digital readouts of the stops. And they had three floors! I was in heaven!
So with confidence and self-assurance I decided I’d take advantage of my living 5 minutes from a bus stop and take the bus to school. It’s not that bad right?
I have never been more out of my element than that day of my trying to ride the bus.
It’s a bus, what happened?
For starters, I arrived at the bus stop completely underwhelmed by it’s lack of bus-like vigor. It was a sign with the word ‘bus’ on it.
I waited for the bus and got on without incident. It seemed pretty straightforward: I got onto the bus and tapped my opal card on the card reader, and chose a seat. There was a ‘bus stopping’ sign that indicated when someone desired for the bus to stop, and buttons near the seats to trigger the sign and alert the driver. It all seemed natural and simple.
Except there was one thing…there was no sign informing passengers of the what the next stop was…
“Ok don’t panic…just…panic a little…and use your iPhone…dad will understand…”
I opened Google Maps, like any sensible millennial, and used it to map out where I was on the route to the school while cringing at the amount of money my dad will have to pay in international data charges.
So after frequently checking my app for directions I finally figured out where to get off. I pressed the stop button and disembarked with ease; but there was another problem because I got off too early and had to take the LONG walk through the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus to get to the building I needed on the other side of said campus.
I panicked a little but not as much as with the bus. There were signs…I followed them while also asking passersby for help. Got a little lost but I managed.
So while there was panic and mayhem on my way to school that day…I had fun ^_^
So by panic you mean you just used your phone because you were too shy to ask the driver?
To be fair it was my first day riding the bus and as any city person knows…we HATE talking to other people. So yes, I will use my phone and silently treasure-hunt my way to school before I ask for directions.
But if you are a tourist please do ask for directions! The drivers are really nice! And, once they recognize you from frequenting the buses you get a nice little rapport…
But if you insist on being like me…you can read about taking the bus on your own, with a few tips I wish I had before I braved the struggle-bus to school. It would have helped to know beforehand about the lack of bus stop announcements, and a couple other things.
You panicked over the bus…
You’re right…and if you really enjoy my struggles you should stay tuned for my post about me panicking over going to see giant spiders, spider webs, and all things with eight legs at a new spider exhibit at the Australian Museum!