Who takes the Bus?

When in Rio a few years ago, we took the bus to go from Leblon to Copacabana and to be honest I was a bit snobbish about it. I thought…Who takes the bus? However, my ignorance was based on the fact that Americans don’t often take the bus. Nor much public transportation for that matter. Especially in Southern California. The east coast, certainly a bit more, especially in the larger metro areas of Ny, Philly and DC. Though I’ve realize why. It’s highly inefficient there.

When working for Westfield I had a meeting in LA and refused to sit one more early and long morning in that insane 405 traffic. So I decided to take the train. Why not!  The train station is a mere two blocks from my little neighborhood of little Italy and seemed rather convenient and a nice experience. And it was. As For anyone who has taken the train along the Southern California coast will most likely agree that it is picturesque, as you travel along the spectacular coastline. However once you arrive in LA. That’s where the inefficiently comes into play. Upon arrival I had to then call an Uber to take a 45 minute ride to my office. And this was after 3 hours on the train. Mind you, without traffic LA is technically only a 2 hour drive. Though no traffic and LA really never go together. As I’ve even been stuck in traffic on the freeway in the middle of the night-Its that bad!
I arrived safely 4 hours later to my 4 hour meeting to then turn around and carpool with a colleagues for 5 hours home on the freeway. I’ve never been great with math though I can tell you that a 9 hour commute for a 4 hour meeting doesn’t seem to make much sense.  Put simply, that’s a commute that doesn’t compute!
So now. Here I am in Paris. No car. At the “mercy” of public transport. And I have to say I’m delightfully surprised at how well I’ve taken to it all!
For my final weeks of living in Paris, I’m residing in the “burbs” for yet another experience of my life in France. So, to get to the city of lights, I now either walk 30 minutes to the metro, or take a bus to the station, though you never quite know when it will show. Though I must say, it’s quite nice.  No worries about stressing on the freeway…Nutty drivers, commuters eating a breakfast burrito with one hand and applying mascara with the other. Just once in awhile, having to manage a fellow metro passenger nutcase.  And yes there are plenty of those. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful experience taking on the public transportation. And I can only hope that the states someday, somehow, someway find a way to offer efficient public transportation in future. Better for the environment and certainly better for our sanity!  Plus there’s often great entertainment in the corridors of the metro, even on the train themselves. Not to mention it’s been a great “life lesson” in seeing others be courteous to one another and showing random acts of kindness. Letting the elderly and or the ladies take their seat when the metro is packed like sardines or in helping an older woman bring her heavy suitcase up the metro stairs.  All of it truly warms my heart.  Manners….ahhh…oh so refreshing.  Now if only some of the smells on the metro were just as refreshing, we’d be fairly close to perfection!
Francine

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