The killing commute

The water was cold and rather sudden. One minute my boot wasn’t in it, and the next it was. It was winter and it was cold and I was on my way to school and had to remain waterlogged (one foot only) the rest of the day.

I was 16 and sometimes had to get the bus to school. Most of the time Mother-of-witch drove me the ten miles, because she taught at the same school. But occasionally our one early morning bus was necessary. (At the time we had four buses a day.) Hence my encounter with the ditch. It was dark at that time, with no streetlights and I sort of veered sideways the wrong way by the field by the bus stop. Splosh.

These days I’d do more things if it wasn’t for the poor public transport in places. Not necessarily kill, but go in directions I now can’t, and/or at times that are now impossible. Or just uncomfortable.

I’ve swapped a big city for a small town. I’m not saying big city was better, but there was more accessible travel, by [local] train, bus and tram. Expensive, with a bad ticket system. And you had to hurry if you wanted to get home by train after a show, for instance. Last train wasn’t all that late. Full though, so clearly there was a market for it.

Now I have good(-ish) trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow. What I don’t have is a sensible bus to take me to the station. I abuse the Resident IT Consultant’s kindness and ask for lifts. I could walk, but like to save myself for when I get there.

But it could be worse. I could live where Helen Grant lives. Here she blogs about life on public transport, and how much more convenient it is to commute to kill if you live in Belgium, as her characters did. Do.

Well, I’m not saying they actually killed. They misbehaved a bit, and they did it all with the help of trams and buses, and late at night too. In some places you come to take this kind of thing for granted.

My former – Swedish – four buses a day are now more like every hour, which for a countryside bus is pretty OK. You can even go out late at night and expect to get home again. There could be time to kill – not people – as you wait, just as when Daughter missed the midnight train out of Geneva recently. There were two more. After she’d killed time.

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