This year has started off very differently from previous ones. For the first time in over 20 years I find myself without a car (it seems I have a problem distinguishing between 60, 70 and 80 km zones when I'm driving). The last time I went on a train coincided with the purchase of my first car in 1991 so it was with some trepidation that I took the first of many trains I will have to take to work over the next 12 weeks. As I've mentioned before I am very claustrophobic and the thought of peak hour trains gave me more than a few sleepless nights over the Christmas break but I must say that so far I have been pleasantly surprised.
Here's some things I've learnt already walking and taking public transport:
- I have a bus at the end of my street that will take me everywhere I regularly go in my local area including the train station.
- The buses go every 15 minutes.
- There is no advertising on my local buses (and very little graffiti). It is air-conditioned and very fast.
- Only one of the milk-bars within walking distance of my house sells bread.
- The trains I have caught have all been on time, cool (even during the heatwave), clean and quiet.
- The trains are nowhere near as crowded as I thought they would be unless I catch one at the height of peak hour.
- It takes me almost half the time to get into the city compared to driving.
I do realise that once the train is late/breaks down/ traps me in a tunnel I may change my tune but for now I'm happy to accentuate the positive.