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Thursday, November 17, 2005
Metro Strike, part 2
Today I decided not to be the taxi going prude that I was yesterday and took a tram and two buses as an alternative for the metro. Considering the fact that it normally takes about an hour to get to school with the metro and a bus, I thought 2 hours for the new alternative will suffice.

Dead wrong! After two hours, not even half of the way was completed! Let’s start with the beginning though…The 10 minutes trip with the tram turned into 20. I finally got to the first bus stop and thought, hey, I still had time. After the first four 381 buses that I couldn’t get on because they already were full when they arrived, I started to doubt it!

The picture of the buses will stay in my mind for a long time, though. People’s faces practically glued to the bus doors, 5 minutes needed for the bus to finally shut the doors and move on, due to the fact that it took a while to get 4 more sardines in the bus! People swearing when they had to get off the small part of stair that they were on so that the bus could move on.

To my delight, a private minibus stopped and the driver shouted: “Going to the University! Get in!” It was close enough to Romana, so I got in. Checked my phone’s clock, I was still on time. Then, after five minutes, my dreams were shattered. For the remaining 1 hour and 20 minutes the driver managed to get us to the University! “It’s the first time I realize how important the metro actually is”, he said. Well, if there was one person left that had no idea about its importance, now it was all settled, no more ignorance in what the subway is concerned!

So I missed my class, but at least got some great news when I arrived to the office (I am only visiting, I’m on night shift today): the paper I needed badly by tomorrow will actually handled with even greater speed. So there still is hope…Let’s all pray the strike will be over!

Yet, according to Ziua (Romanian only) yesterdays’ negotiations failed. According to the same newspaper, the Traffic Police announced more of their agents will be present on the streets of Bucharest, handling the increased traffic. Well, yeah, they are out there, I actually saw them: they were practically doing nothing at all. The traffic lights were the major rule. And of course they were nowhere to be found in places where there actually were traffic jams at crossroads…
posted by Alina @ 11:32 AM  
  • At 11/17/2005 4:10 PM, Blogger Rain said…

    Ouch :S..that's really annoying!!
    Hope this strike will end soon really, but meanwhile u'll have to adapt to the other means of transportation :(
    I can understand , cause here in Egypt it's worse than that!!!

  • At 11/17/2005 4:39 PM, Anonymous bok said…

    yeah, I hope so too that this ends soon. But do you know what would be my alternative, Kayla? A bike! haha! Errr, if it isn't so cold... hehe.


  • At 11/17/2005 8:14 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Rain, I am adapting :) It seems I have to, like it or not!

    Boks, they announced snow for the weekend, so...Impossible, mon amour!

  • At 11/17/2005 10:00 PM, Blogger Charismatic Soul said…

    they annoucned snow?
    so i guess a motor bike is out of the question too :)

    good that you're adapting, where i live, we dont have public transport, the public buses is for only a certain class of people, we dont have trains, only taxis..consider yourself blessed Kayla :) ...damn, i miss Egypt already :(

  • At 11/17/2005 11:57 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    No public transport? Only for certain classes? Please give me more details on this, CS!

  • At 11/18/2005 1:45 AM, Blogger LouLou said…


    Chari probably means that most people in UAE don't take the public buses. You find mostly the lowest-paid laborers & the poorest people in them. As a result they're none too clean & not terribly safe - not to mention that everyone else is too snobbish to take them.

    If you don't have a car your only other option is to take a taxi & these are terribly expensive now. They weren't a few years back & they're still pretty reasonable in Abu Dhabi but not in Dubai where Chari lives.

    You'd think in an oil-producing country transportation would be less of a problem.:(

  • At 11/18/2005 2:31 PM, Blogger MoonLightShadow said…

    What you are describing here Kayla is more or less how things go in Egypt always.

    We have private microbuses with someone shouting on the door saying where is he going.

    As for public buses, you can rarely find the doors closed. Actually people stand on the stairs.

    As for taxis, I think they are relatively not expensive here in Egypt.

    Glad the strike is over.

  • At 11/18/2005 5:08 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Lou, thank you for the explanation. The not that clean people that ride buses or trams or the subway trains are a problem here as well, sometimes. But I guess it's ok, most of the times public transportation takes you where you need to go.

    Moon, the only reason the door are closed in Bucharest is that the bus/tram/trolley does not leave with them open.

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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