Thursday, November 25, 2010

Adventures with Public Transportation

So far I really enjoy public transportation.  I am sure that after awhile I will miss not being able to just jump in my car and fill the back of my car with Target bags or visit friends without having to first look at a tram schedule.  But right now it seems very metropolitan….and it’s relaxing to not have to drive!!! 
Kelly is working at a new client this week which is in the suburb or Mt. Waverly so she wanted to practice how to get there on public transportation.  This seemed like a pretty good idea as she got lost on her first day of work and ended up having to go back into the city to take a taxi!  When she told me where the client was, I realized that I have a client later in the year that is located in almost the exact same place so I decided to “practice” the route with her.  We found out that the commute would take nearly an hour and we would have to take a tram, train, and bus to get there!!!
Our adventure started a little after 1:00 on Sunday.  We went to a tram stop just a few blocks from Kelly’s apartment.  Our tram came within just a few minutes – so far so good!  The tram ride was around 20-30 minutes and then we had to get off at the Malvern train station to take a train to Oakleigh.  We successfully bought the Zone 2 tickets we needed and made it to the correct platform for the train. By now we are thinking this is really easy.  Not sure what we needed to practice for!  We arrived in Oakleigh  and followed the signs to where we would catch the bus.  All of the bus stops are located just outside the train station so it wasn’t too difficult.  Unfortunately this is where the “adventures” begin.  We arrive in Oakleigh around 2:10 and then realized that the bus we needed to catch only comes once an hour on the weekend (more during the week).  We had just missed the 2:05 bus so we were going to have to wait until 3:05.  We contemplating just trying to walk to the client as it said it was only a 6 minute bus ride (which didn’t seem too far).  Instead we decided to get some food because we hadn’t had lunch yet.  Luckily there were plenty of sidewalk cafes very close to the train station and we decided on one that had delicious Greek food!
 We made it back to the bus stop and didn’t have to wait long before the bus arrived.  Good thing we did not decide to try to walk to the client site, as a 6 minute bus ride is actually quite a bit further than you might think!  The trouble with a bus is that they don’t call out what the next stop is.  So we had no idea where we were supposed to get off.  The directions told us to get off on Ferntree Gully/Gilby Road.  The good news was that we were on Ferntree Gully (hoping the bus would not turn!) but how were we supposed to know where Gilby Road was?  We were both laughing very hard while frantically trying to look out the window and figure out when to request a stop. Luckily Kelly saw the street that her client was located on and signaled for a stop.  We never did figure out where Gilby Road was.  Fortunately we got off at the right place and easily found both of our clients.  AS we had feared, the bus back also ran only once (or maybe twice) per hour.  We ended up sitting on the sidewalk by the bus stop for about half an hour, the whole time laughing that our one-hour commute practice was taking us all day. 
We made it back through the reverse route without any trouble, but we definitely weren’t looking forward to do that commute on a regular basis.  I’m sure you’re all wondering……Kelly did manage to make it back there on Monday all by herself.  As for me, when I got to work on Monday and looked at my schedule I realized that my client in Mt Waverly had been taken out of my schedule.  So I spent 4 hours on public transportation for nothing…………..except the pleasure of Kelly’s company of course!!!!
Other random thoughts for this week:
·         After softball games when we shake hands, people say “thank you” instead of good game.
·         One drawback of public transportation…the rain.  I have learned that I must always keep my umbrella in my bag!
·         Cricket might be the most boring spectator sport ever.  However, I am going to try to learn the rules and plan on going to the Ashes Test (Australia vs. England)
·         My shipping container is not due to arrive until Dec. 18 and then has to clear customs which will take approx. 2 weeks.  I can’t wait for the rest of my shoes to arrive! J
·         There are insanely loud birds outside my current hotel room.  I wish I could upload an audio clip of them.  I think listening to them may be making me go slightly crazy.
·         I did not have any turkey or pumpkin pie today for Thanksgiving, but I did eat some creamy butternut pumpkin, which was delicious!

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