Personally I don’t have a car and have to rely on public transportation to take me wherever I want to go.
Usually, this is not a problem. To go downtown I take the subway and I quite enjoy the ride. It gives me plenty of time to read without any interruptions.
Yesterday, however, I didn’t enjoy taking public transportation at all. I would even go as far as to say it was and experience straight from hell.
I had an appointment, an interview to be more specific, at the Markham hospital. I looked online how to get to my destination and noticed that I had to take the 54 bus up to Markham Road and from there the 102 bus that would take me right to the hospital door. It seemed easy enough. Just two buses and the trip would take an estimated 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Even though the trip would last just over an hour, I thought I’d give myself extra time and leave with an hour and a half to spare. Just in case something went wrong.
In the end I changed my mind. My interview was at 2:00, but since I was ready to go at 12:00, I thought I might as well get an early start. If I was at my interview too early, I could go for a walk, or a coffee, or whatever … better too early than too late.
At Lawrence East station I caught the 54 bus and about ten or fifteen minutes later was dropped off at Markham Road. I had barely crossed the street when I saw the 102A bus coming. That was quick.
After checking with the driver, it turned out that the 102A bus didn’t go to the Markham hospital. The driver said I needed the 102D bus.
So I waited at the bus shelter, and I waited and waited. The 102B bus came and went, two more 102A buses drove past, but the 102D bus was nowhere to be seen.
Had this been a warm spring day, I wouldn’t have minded waiting for a bus, but yesterday was anything but warm. It was -20 deg C (-4 deg F) and I was slow turning blue.
Eventually the 102D bus came and before getting on I checked with the driver once more if he went to the Markham hospital.
“No,” he said.
“No. We used to,” he said, “but not anymore.”
He must have seen my disappointment because he added, “I can take you close, and from there you have to take a Viva bus who will drop you right at the hospital’s door.”
Okay, that sounded like a plan. I would cost me an extra fare though.
We drove and we drove and we drove and when I checked the time I saw that it was 1:45. No way, I thought, no way can I do this every day. Two hours to go to work, two hours to get back home … four hours a day commuting … no way, no job was worth this.
So I canceled my appointment, came back home and hoped for a better opportunity. Now if I’d had a car, traveling to my Markham destination would have been far more pleasant.
Instead of walking I could have sat down, there would have been no waiting time, instead of turning into a popsicle, I would have been nice and warm, and instead of the journey taking two hours, I would have been there in 30 minutes or so.
Let nobody complain to me about the price of gas, if anyone has the right to complain it is people who have to rely on public transportation.