Monday, July 4, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

But you know, it really doesn't matter is the wheels are going round if it is not the right bus. That's right. My adventures with the public transportation system today were a bit... interesting.
Typically we drive one of our community vehicles to the hospital when a child has surgery. But today there was so much going on and so many people in different places, Jeff (my fellow co-worker who is from Australia!) and I had to take the public transportation system. Now I must confess, coming from the suburbs I have very little experience with the bus system. I'm not opposed to using it; I've just never really had reason or opportunity, so I was a bit excited!
Now before we get into the story you need to understand how the buses work here. There are the normal big city buses that look like big green caterpillars, but then there are also the Arabic "Sharoot" buses which are really just big vans.
We were told to take a Sharoot to to the Central Bus Station and then Bus #84 to the hospital. Mushkilay niya! (No problem) Or so we thought. I had never done this before and Jeff had only done it a couple times so I knew it would be an adventure. We headed to where you normally catch the Sharoots only to be told by multiple people this wasn't right and we needed to go back up the street and catch a bus to the Central Bus Station. We didn't know any better so we did! Caught the bus, no problem, and headed off. In less than twenty minutes we were at the Station. Odd, it should have taken closer to an hour. Well....
We headed inside and wandered around for... awhile. Finally, finding an information desk we were told we could not catch a bus to the hospital from here we needed to take a different one into the city and then catch another bus from there. Ok. We got this.
We find our next bus and get on. Once again, no problem. We can do this. An hour or so later we get to that "Central Bus Station". I'm starting to think it's interesting that there are multiple bus stations that are referred to as the "Central" one.
We get off, wander around for... awhile. Ask a couple different information booths and finally realize we are completely lost. It will probably take at least an hour for us just to figure out how to get to the hospital. Alright. Done with that. We hop in a cab and are there in ten minutes. The journey, which should have only taken an hour or so took over two and a half hours! But once again, Mushkilay niya.
Well, we made to the hospital halfway through little Ali's surgery. He is less than a year old and absolutely adorable. You can read my telling of his story at
After our time at the hospital, we decided to brave the buses again. This time, we got the right but made it to the right "Central Bus Station" and found the Sharoot without any problem. Sheesh, why couldn't it have been this easy on the way there? Oh well, it was definitely an adventure! But one that I would rather not repeat, if at all possible.

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