Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bus vs. Metro

No sooner were the words "spring is springing" written and winter decided to rear its ugly, annoying head. This week has felt like hardcore winter that doesn't plan on ever going away, but despite the cold I decided to explore the Madrid bus system today. Since arriving almost five months ago I've only ever taken a taxi, used the metro or walked to reach Point B. Figuring out bus routes and schedules seemed daunting and I also envisioned packed, standing-room only scenarios. No thanks. But, I recently realized that not using the bus was really limiting our exploration of the city. Although the metro is fast and efficient, there are very few stations that have elevators. This creates a huge problem for me during the day when I'm alone with Sabine as most stations have multiple stairwell areas and you have to physically pick up the stoller to make it down or worse, up. Again, no thanks. Well this past weekend we were in the park and we ran into Brodie's frienemy, Jorge "Pepinosa" and his father. We got on the subject of public transportation and in a not so subtle way he informed me that the metro is for weirdos and the bus is for a higher caliber of people. Really???? Hmmm...I have very little experience with city buses, but I have to admit I've always kind of imagined city buses as a place where winos and hobos go to nap. I thought the metro was the smart choice as long as you kept your purse zipped and didn't pass out late night so as to have your bag cut away from your body while you "slept" (this actually happened to someone we know, btw.) With this new information in hand I decided it was time to test the bus system and after many mis-steps and multiple calls to my now rightfully annoyed husband, I managed to find the right bus to take me to a store called "Taste of America" (where I buy Jif PB) and then find the right bus back to our neighborhood. Pros: Clean, you're above ground to view the city, you can push the stroller right on, filled with seemingly harmless well-dressed elderly people. Cons: Traffic, stops way too frequently, longer waits for the bus. I think the pros outweigh the cons and I plan to figure this bus thing out without having to SOS my ever patient husband.

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