The Great Adventure

It took a lot of courage. I spent a couple of hours preparing myself for it. But eventually I did it.

I got on a bus.

I knew they existed of course. I have seen them on the roads spewing forth black smoke. Rarely however have I considered travelling on one. I mean to say…… the shame if anybody were to see me. Circumstances must however and Mrs. Ha had to go in one direction (Korean lesson) and I had to go the other. Either we took two cars or I found ‘alternative transport’. I refused to throw money at a taxi and it was too far to walk so that left….. a bus.

We do in fact have a bus stop at the bottom of the hill but I have no idea how often it runs. If it isn’t going to leave when I need to go somewhere then it seems rather pointless. Similarly if I want to go to C and the bus only goes to B then I don’t understand the purpose of it. And because this bus stops at the bottom of the hill I still have a marathon walk up. He won’t go up the hill and drop me outside our house. I repeat….. what’s the point?

With all other options excluded I girded my loins and boarded the 299x. Good grief. It was slow. It kept stopping to let people on or off. And then to top it all I discovered I was actually on the wrong bus. I wanted a 99 not a 299x. It turned left when I wanted to go straight on. That left me with an extra 15 minute walk. I shall be writing a stiff letter of complaint to KMB.

Now I am home. I have, to quote a friend of mine who once flew economy class on a plane, “proved I can do it”. But as my friend and indeed his wife pointed out, there seems little merit in proving it again. Once in life is enough. The bus to be honest was better than flying. The security checks were minimal, nobody asked me to take my shoes and belt off, nobody asked me whether I had more than 100ml of liquid in my camera bag, I did not not have to put my iPad in a separate tray, and I didn’t get a ‘pat down’ from the driver. Whatever happened to the clippies of childhood? All KMB seemed interested in was that I had swiped my Octopus (stored-value) card as I climbed aboard. On the down side, apart from the pure logistical shortcomings there seemed to be no drinks trolley, no duty free and no meals were served during the 45 minute ride. I’m sorry but I don’t see this concept of buses catching on.

My only photo to mark the occasion was this one.

_DSF5430Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. I am off to see if I can claim any bus miles.




30 thoughts on “The Great Adventure

  1. First time for everything 😉 I love taking the bus – one of the best ways to see a place or a city, especially neighbourhoods that I might not visit if I were a tourist!

  2. My daily life involves the ups and downs of public transport. I have got on a wrong bus and tram before, even more I have been on the right line but unbeknownst to me they have changed the route.

    • I think I would have been fairly annoyed if they changed the route on me. It was user error in my case. Not enough research. That and a timetable written only in Chinese.

  3. Ha ha! – indeed a very amusing tale and quite a revelation, for I cannot imagine getting around Hong Kong without a bus of some kind! My biggest adventures were getting from Pok Fu Lam and Mount Nicholson to Tai Mei Tuk, but I do love the top deck of the 6X, 66 or 260 to Stanley and the (sometimes scary) mini buses from Mui Wo on Lantau, to some of the beach restaurants and Tai O. My favourite form of transport in Hong Kong would be a ferry of some sort (not a hydrofoil or turbo cat), but I really do miss the old Star Ferry Pier.

    Wish public transport in UK was just a fraction as good and as cheap as in HK!

    • The loss of the old Star Ferry pier was a crime. There is no character nowadays. The bus to Stanley is a good option because the parking is so limited. You can jump on at Admiralty I think. If you live on a bus route they are fine but slow. I still seem to be in a hurry even though I am retired.

  4. The bus I got on did that ridiculous stopping and letting people on and off business. On the plus side I got the front seat at the top and that is pretty much as close as I’m likely to get to club class in the foreseeable. Saw lots of bald spots.

  5. Susan talked me into taking the bus which stops just outside our condo complex. She takes the bus regularly (and gives it back on return). She told me how much easier it would be than having to find parking space downtown.
    She showed me how to look up the arrival time of the next bus. We stood at the stop, me expectantly, she proudly. And we waited. And waited. It never came.
    Next time we took the car

  6. Hmmm… I think you have a lovely efficient Metro system, is that right? From memory it seemed not as overcrowded as the London one. Sometimes it’s just nicer to get the bus in London (ie you can breathe.)

  7. Mary Beth loves public transportation. Were I to show this to her….well, there would be a pox upon ye. I, on the other hand, do not at all like anyone else transporting me anywhere. I flew once…didn’t care for it. It may take me forever to get somewhere distant, but I feel better in control.
    Actually, I think a bus is just fine….but I like a buss much more. 🙂

    Exceptional bit of writing, Mr. H.

  8. I regularly rode the trams in Melbourne, AUS. Oh, the lovely characters! Plenty of intoxicated/drugged riders calling out if their seats. One time, I had a group of huffers huffing petrol sit right next to and in front of me. Couldn’t exit quickly enough!
    On a positive note, I spoke to many kind, wonderful people, too. Never a dull day riding a tram!

    • We went to India tiger watching in the 90s. We were convinced the jeep driver was drinking the petrol. He reeked like a fire hazard. After 2 days we said no more. I never understood the need. He could have just drunk Mateus Rose.

  9. Indeed, a delightful read.
    I’m with you~ hate the idea of someone else transporting me. Actually I dream of landing in some small place where I can even ditch the car and get around on foot or bicycle. Or kayak, even better.

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