Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventures with Public Transit

Brunhildenstrasse Bushalltestelle
To get to school, Bree' and I take the bus to one of two train stations and then hop on either the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn (underground vs. suburban trains), depending on which station we're at. We've negotiated this system very well, I'd say, and have developed our own way of getting too and from school with very few mishaps. Today we walked to our bus stop at Brunhildenstrasse (two blocks from where we live) and noticed that no one was there, which was odd, there's usually 2+ other people who take the same bus as we do.

We waited for a few minutes and a man whom we've seen pretty much every day at the stop rounded the corner. He came up to us and started speaking very fast German, to which Bree' replied, "Uh...langsamer bitte." To which he said, "Ah, wissen Sie, wenn dieser Bus verstrickt?" To which I thought, "Wait did he just say something about the bus drivers being on strike?" But wasn't sure, so I replied eloquently, "Uhh...verstrickt?" To which he said, "Oh! Sprechen Sie Englisch?" we nodded, and he said, "Oh, no problem. Do you know if this bus is on strike?" (I was afraid he had said that). "The buses are on strike!?" "Oh, yeah, well some of them. Here being on strike means that some of them will show up, some won't. If it doesn't come we'll have to walk down to the S-Bahn station." Which is a 20 minute walk away, no big deal, just adds time to the schedule. We said, "Oh, well, hopefully ours comes." 

SURPRISE! Ahh, city of Munich, you got us this time.

We still had a few minutes so the 3 of us waited and thankfully our bus came. We talked (in English both fortunately and unfortunately) about how Bree' and I were living here for a semester with a small group of kids studying German and history, etc and he told us how he recently moved to Munich, himself. Then he got up and asked the bus driver if the U5, which is our train, was striking and the driver didn't know. So we got off the bus at the S-Bahn station and the timing worked out that the train pulled away as we got to the station. So, long story short, we got to school 20 minutes late (but I called Betty ahead of time, so they knew what was going on). The trains were also super packed coming home.

The question we were left with was, "Wait, why didn't anyone tell us about this strike?" Ah well. Adventures.

1 comment:

  1. I've never run into a German transit strike, though many in Italy. The German systems are always on time. Peggy and I were on a boat trip on the Danube a few years ago. The boat was making a stop where we were supposed to get off, but she made a quick trip to the ladies room as we were pulling into the dock. Unfortunately, the boat took off on time before she got out. Stick to the schedule. :-)