|Dr. Henry and Bill on the 2nd level of Bus 608 en rte to the Muslim quarter.|
Perhaps if I devote an entire post just to the bus system here, I will not have to bore you again with this topic. I have no frame of reference for how the buses here compare to other systems, since this is my first experience utilizing this mode of transportation. For any readers who are like me, I’ll offer the tutorial that would have been helpful for me:
1. Do your best to find a bus route map. We have one from an English magazine. However, be aware that these maps will not tell you where the bus stops, just which streets they traverse.
2. Always carry a few one yuan bills or coins. Currently, one yuan equals about 16 cents (US). So, for one yuan, you can jump on a bus, and it will take you all the way across town. The buses here that have the letter K before the bus number cost 2 yuan. These buses seem to have air conditioning and a few more seats. Otherwise, they are the same as the others. If you are here a long time, invest in a bus pass which you merely tap on the meter when you step on the bus.
3. If you are at Gaoxin High School, the best bus to know about is #608. This double decker bus stops about a block from the school and goes all the way to the train station downtown.
|Occasionally, there are enough seats to go around. This photo was taken mid-morning.|
|The 608 bus stop one block north of the high school.|
Other helpful hints (if you are like Kelly):
· Enter through the door near the driver.
· Exit through the door at the back.
· Yes, there is a reason people are constantly pushing you toward the back of the bus…and yes, that computerized voice that says something that sounds like “ho” is telling you to move to the back of the bus.
· Regardless of anything else, keep an eye on your group and make sure you push through whatever humanity is trying to stand in your way either getting on the bus or off.
· Don’t worry about seeming rude. It’s not rude. It’s called common sense.
· HANG ON. Remember that different drivers have different ideas of what a smooth stop and start should feel like.
· Personal space: what’s that?
|Ben, near the back door, lower level, of bus 608.|
The buses here have been a very reliable way to discover the city. We have never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus to show up. Most of the time, it is less than 5 minutes.