Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I caught a bus! And it was just as horrid as I imagined it would be.

Why would I catch a bus? The why isn’t very interesting, so a brief synopsis would be that I was meeting Mrs S for lunch in Parnell, and she insisted that catching the Link bus would be a good idea, as we should all be using our cars less anyway because of global warming. I pointed out that driving with the air conditioner on would negate any warming effect my car might have on the globe.

"It would only take ten minutes to get there if I took the car," I grumbled, "How much warmer will the globe get in that time?" But she was insistent. I had banking to do first, so got Mr Smith to drop me off on Queen Street.

Finding a bus stop was hard enough! Queen Street is a building zone (again), so all the bus-stops were closed. I eventually found one hiding down by Fort Street.

11.50 am. A Link bus comes. I hail it. The driver sails past, and stops at the lights, a few metres away. I run after it, and knock at the door. He jabs his meaty, minimum-wage hoof in the direction of the bus-stop. "I was at the fucking bus-stop," I politely point out. He shakes his head. I thoughtfully show him my beautifully manicured middle-finger, and suggests he perform a particular act upon himself, presuming he has the requisite genitalia to do so.

12.10pm. Another bus comes. According to the schedule, Parnell should only be three stops away! Hurrah!

12.17 pm. We are now outside Sky City. It has taken us seven minutes to travel 500 metres. Why are we heading the wrong direction? Half the population of Saudi Arabia piles on to the bus.

12.25pm. We arrive in Ponsonby. I think of making my escape to home and car, so tantalizingly near, but the solid wall of bellowing Muslims means escape is impossible.

12.28pm. Through the greasy film on the windows, I see people driving their cars. I am sure there are more people on the roads than usual, flaunting their cars. They are mocking me.

12.36pm. Sweet baby Jesus! We are back on Queen Street! Realize now I must be trapped in some loop in the time-space continuum. Must keep morale up. Tear cloth strips off my A/X shirt to make a head band, and start a camp-fire by rubbing two lip-sticks together.

12.40pm. Am in a severely weakened state. My bottle of Evian is empty. Armed with a nail-file, I go in search of food. I spy a suitably plump young animal, but its mother glares at me.

12.50pm. According to earth time, it has been an hour since I was waiting at a bus-stop. Oh! What innocent care-free days! In the space-time continuum however, three years have passed. My clothes are ragged, I have violent pains in my head, and am feverish. The end is surely nigh.

1.11pm. Parnell! I am here!

I greet Mrs S with grimy, tear-stained face. Having been so long without human company, I have lost the ability to speak, and can only make grunts and whistles. Through this mode of communication, with hand-gestures, she understands I need wine, and much of it.

I share my tale of woe.
"Poor you!" she said. "You caught it going the wrong way. You should have got on the opposite side of the street. I’ll give you a lift home."
"You brought your car?"
She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, and said nothing.


hers said...

I did the bus thing recently too. The ride from the suburbs to Skycity was quick and easy. Getting home turned out to be an absolute nightmare which took an hour longer than the mornings journey as every single school child got the bus to stop at every single stop.

By the time I got home there was an increase in global temperatures purely and simply from the steam coming from my ears.

Mark said...

"I was at the fucking bus-stop,"

Is that consider proper etiquette when dealing with the Cro-magnons who drive buses?


I work for a living and I wouldn't be caught dead on a bus...

Ms Klake said...

The last time I caught an Auckland bus (West to City Center) it was the middle of summer, unbearably hot, and the lurching bus took literally forever. I was quite irritated by this as I got carsick for the first time in years and had to spend a good ten minutes after stumbling off the bus sitting on pavement trying not to throw up. BAD, BAD, BAD.

The buses here are much better. Though I'm still smiting the bus driver who packed a tanty when I made him break a $20.

Oswald Bastable said...

Public Transport.

Just think about what may have sat on your seat previously...

unPC lesbian said...

I quite regularly take a bus to go out on a night out, and btw the hours of 9pm and 10.30pm on a Friday and Saturday evening there are a suprising number of buses running in this city. I tried to take a bus to go out one Saturday evening in Auck and found that at 7.30pm one had to wait over 40 minutes btw buses, and that was from a very central location. Bah humbug to the Auckland buses.

We still have the overhead wire thingies to run our buses, which is really convenient as it's a good clue to which way the bus is going.

Lisa said...


I hope you punished her severely.

laughykate said...

I hear your pain. It was January or February - when that obnoxiously giant floating gin palace was in town. My brother-in-law came up with the genius idea that we(his wife, their two small children and myself) should catch the bus to go and have a look at it because a)it would be cool for the kids to look at it, b)we would never get a park if we took a car and c)their two small children had never caught a bus before. I did hear the toll of warning bells but I ignored them and went along armed with good faith in the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. Silly silly me. The estimated two hour round trip dragged into FIVE hours. There is nothing more frustrating than watching that irritating digital display smugly counting down...'the next bus will be along in nine minutes.....seven minutes....four minutes...two minutes....recaculating.....oops sorry we fucked up....seventeen minutes....'And over and over it went. Lets just say the small people were remarkably better behaved than the adults.NEVER AGAIN.
In hindsight I suspect we were just pawns in my brother-in-law's plan -it just was a guaranteed way to keep the women out of the house for as long as possible. I bet he's still chuckling at how gullibly stupid we were.

peterquixote said...

With them girl things and all what yous people dude, check this out
jeex wopman yous for real,check this out


Mrs Smith said...

Yes, Peter, I am one for real wopman. Now go pimp your horrid blog elsewhere. I have standards to maintain.

Mrs Smith said...

By the way, I think Mrs S challenged me to get a bus as a joke. She never thought I'd actually do it, but given the gross inconvenience caused, I doubt I'd try it again. I still can't believe the first driver went straight past me, then wouldn't let me on. How rude.

miss_seph said...

I'm sad to say that I catch a bus every day for work. It's much easier than putting up with the traffic, and I get to sleep for 45 minutes- but whenever it rains I drive and put up with it.

The upside to taking the bus is that during after work drinks I can actually drink, as long as I don't drink myself into a stupor. I don't imagine it's very safe to be a drunk woman traveling alone by bus...

Robyn said...

When the Link first started, which was a little over 10 years ago, it was said that the Link was a good place to pick up. Why, a friend of mine even claims to have had a back-row hand job from that era.

But now The Link is realm of tourist and people who don't mind their buses being all grubby and grey on the inside.

I'm all for the 274 Mt Eden route. One Sunday morning I went from the Mt Eden shops to the first Auckland Uni stop on Symonds Street in 10 minutes exactly, without stopping once. Never repeated, though.

Also, yesterday the bus driver was playing loud, awful R&B on a portable radio stashed beside him, and proceded to drum along with it while he was driving.

peterquixote said...

yous a joke woman girl, keep printing your sad,

Lita said...

I had the same recent experience on The Ink, I thought I'd never get off, it aged me significantly. They made me change at newmarket and everything; trip from AUT to Parnell took 55 minutes. 55 precious minutes I will never get back, 10 of 'em were stationary spent watching fugly students at the Uni bus stop. What is that about?