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Transportation Abroad!

While across the pond, I have come to rely heavily  on public transportation for the first time in my life. At home I have a car so I am used to having the freedoms associated with it. All of that changed when I landed foot in Ireland. Here in Ireland, the bus system is the major form of public transportation and using it can sometimes be an adventure in of itself. The biggest challenge with Ireland’s bus system is figuring out which bus goes where! I am lucky enough to only have to take one bus throughout Cork.  There have been hiccups along the way though! One time I got on the wrong bus, and had to ride it for over an hour to get back to where I originally got on. Then I got to the correct bus stop and the normal bus I take was done with its rounds for the night. I couldn’t help but laugh at my mistake. Another funny feature of the bus system in Ireland, is how diverse the drivers are.  By diverse I mean, that some drivers drive sooooooooo slow, and others drive like NASCAR drives. The NASCAR bus drivers make it a bumpy ride, especially when the bus is full and people have to stand. You have to hold on for dear life in that situation! Other than differing driving habits, some drivers are extremely friendly and talk with people on the bus, while others keep to themselves. Though using the bus system is fairly time consuming, it has taught me a lot about public transportation and patience. Since I no long rely on myself for transportation, I have to plan accordingly and understand that others are doing their part to get me to where I need to go.

The best advice I can offer to others using transportation abroad, is to have patience, research all the difference modes of transportation where ever you are, know the schedules, know the costs and if there are discounts or student transportation cards, and be courteous. Public transportation can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you educate yourself before using it.

 

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC International Academic Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

When riding around

It is the middle of my fourth week here in Buenos Aires and as classes started three weeks ago I have been down in the books and have been wanting for some time to talk about transportation here. Buenos Aires is a very large and is adequately equipped to meet the needs of all of its inhabitants. For starters the public transportation here is huge!! In my first weeks here I compared it to the public transport in New York and I still hold true to that for the most part. The public transportation here includes buses, subways, and trains all accessible with the same card, which you would load with however many pesos you want. The buses are normally full of people and there is a lot of standing since it’s so crowded. The subways and trains always seem to have some sort of entertainment. The other day, someone was doing dancing in the hopes of receiving pesos from riders, singing and playing instruments is a very popular way to collect money on the subway and so is selling certain small products. The more I ride the more things I find, things like highlighters, tissue, candy, stickers, earphones and lots of other cool stuff. There are other ways people collect money also but I’ll be all day explaining them all. Sometimes they will actually just put these things on your leg, in your lap, or in your hands but you’ve got to be very careful because they’ll charge you for it if you try to leave with it. They put these things down all the way through a car, come back and pick them up and then move on to the next car to do it again collecting any money on the way. It is super interesting to see how the singers and composers pack up their supplies and move into the next car, and off or on the subway so quickly. The cars here rather small compared to those back in the states and in conversation I found out that the majority of people here use the public transport system rather than choosing to drive, that being the case many do not know how. Also, there is a lot of walking down here, walking here, walking there, and walking all the way over there, it was a small thing but still something that I had to get used to doing. It works out though because I’ve eaten and am eating so much bread and sweets! (Haha!) Finally, cabs and taxis are also available here but it is a very controversial thing here. In fact, it is not uncommon to see “fuera uber!” stickers on the back of taxis. Fuera uber translates to “out uber” and this sparked my interest because while I knew how sensitive it is here I did not know the amount emotion that taxi drivers actually have for their feelings on the matter. Uber is very new here and when it first arrived there were a lot of different protests and strikes because of the anger of taxi drivers. It’s all very interesting.