12 November 2010

The Green Vespa: In Storage

A few weeks ago, I was quite unfortunate to have some problems with my Vespa and in the scooter's absence, I was forced to rely on the kindness of others as well as the much dreaded public transportaion system. Yes, public transport and in this particular case, Dublin Bus.

I hadn't been on the bus since last winter when the snowfall was so bad that to even think of pushing my Vespa out of the shed would have been dangerous. Almost a year on and there I was faced with another cold, wet and dark November morning waiting to be reacquainted with Dublin Bus. After making sure that I had change for the bus fare into town, I dug out my old iPod Shuffle, plugged in the earphones and mentally prepared myself for a long, long wait.

It must've been less than 5 minutes when the number 38A popped up at the end of the road. I wasn't filled with joy but nevertheless, I was grateful that I didn't have to wait any longer at the bus stop. As the bus pulled in to the stop, I noticed that the sign at the front of the bus said Baggot Street. Strange, as the 38A's last stop in the city centre was normally Hawkins Street which just barely got one across the Liffey. Baggot Street on the other hand, was deeper in the south of the city centre and was only a 2-minute walk away from my workplace. Great, if this was true and not some awful mistake by the driver. Business as usual if it wasn't, which basically meant that I needed to add another half an hour to my journey.

The new, all-improved 38/38A route

Towards the end of the journey, I was pleased that the bus didn't turn into Hawkins Street and continued to head south. Brilliant. It was headed towards Baggot Street. When I got to the office, I double-checked Dublin Bus' site and confirmed that this was the 38 and 38A's new route extension as part of a larger programme of improvement.  It was then I thought to myself that this whole bus thing wasn't too bad. I could certainly put up with this type of service. I even got to a stage where I toyed with the idea of using the bus service by choice, on a more regular basis. Yes, the temperature outside was close to freezing but I was finding myself warming to Dublin Bus that morning.

However, the weird bus fantasy came to an abrupt end just the next morning. Aiming to arrive at the bus stop at the same time as the previous morning, I haplessly looked on as a 38 followed quickly by a 38A passed me by while I was only a few feet away from the stop. Classic Dublin Bus maneuvour. That morning, I waited until my Shuffle repeated itself before the next 38 made an appearance.

I won't even think of leaving my Vespa at home from then on. Not for the bus anyway...

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