I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Friday, January 25, 2013

Taking public transport

It's Friday, and it's 6:30pm now. Everyone has left the office building at least an hour ago.

Well, i do have work to do but nothing really that urgent that i gotta stay back and work on it. It is just that the bus i wanna take only comes around every hour; the next one will only arrive at the nearby bus stop at around 7:15pm.

Life without a car isn't too pleasant. Actually i do not mind walking and taking public transport, especially when i am staying in city center and there are a lot of buses that pass by the streets opposite the apartment, and train station is about 20 minutes walk away. There are, however, a few problems in taking public transport here.

Wellington is a city known for its erratic weather and strong wind. It can get rather cold walking in the gusty wind, and sometimes the wind gets so strong that i feel like i am being blown away by it. In addition to that, the weather is so unpredictable that it can be all sunny in the morning, and then rainy in the afternoon, and then get back to sunny again in the evening. One must always carry a jacket or rain coat, as there is no way to know whether or not the weather will change or not. Oh, and umbrella is useless here due to the wind.

Then, the company laptop is also too heavy for me to carry everyday. I am leaving it in the office if i am not visiting client on the following day. I bring lunch to work (because there isn't any place within walking distance that can get food) and a handbag too. So, on days that i need to carry the laptop to and fro, there will be too many things for me to carry - handbag, laptop backpack, and a lunch bag.

Public transport is very expensive here too. Bus journey from my apartment to the office only takes about 20 minutes, but it costs NZD5 per trip. Return tickets may be cheaper, such as the one i bought today for NZD9.50 (uh huh, only NZD0.50 cheaper). If i have purchased returned ticket in the morning, then i gotta make sure i take the same bus back; otherwise the money would be wasted. This is exactly why i gotta wait for the bus at 7pm+ even though there are other buses that i could take at 6pm+.

There are stored-value fare cards that can be purchased, and the fare would be a lot cheaper with the cards; but then, the problem is that there isn't one standard fare card like the EZ Link in SG. Different bus companies here have different fare cards. There are two different bus companies operating on the route that i take, so it is either i buy both or i buy none.

Lastly, it is back to safety concern. This isn't really a place as safe as what we had thought so. Since i arrived here, i had heard a few news about sexual assault. Every weekend, i would hear the siren of police car or ambulance from my apartment (probably because i stay in city center). My ex-subordinate has also shared with me a story about an encounter with a Maori lady at the bus stop while waiting for the bus to go home. The lady seemed to be drunk and verbally attacked him with racist remarks.

If you wonder why i do not take the train, well, that is because it isn't safe too. I would share more about the train station in my next post.

It is time to pack up and go to the bus stop. If i miss this bus, i'd have to wait for another hour!


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 12:57 am: No car soon
Friday, January 18, 2013 @ 11:56 pm: Busy at work
Sunday, January 13, 2013 @ 9:44 pm: Lost & found (II)
Sunday, January 13, 2013 @ 12:47 am: Lost & found (I)
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 9:59 pm: Unexpected
Friday, January 04, 2013 @ 10:13 pm: Quick update
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 11:29 pm: An unusual day
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 12:54 am: Beginning of another year
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 12:45 am: End of another year
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 1:04 am: Lost identity (V)