One of my main methods of transportation is using public services. Since tram, train, and metro are pretty much unknown in Irish cities other than Dublin, most of it happens to be the bus service operated by BusEireann. Getting used to how things run here can be quite challenging. Even more so if you are from a country where the little word “schedule” actually carries more meaning than “just a general set of guidelines”.
Today the bus I took to get to work was, in a rather unusual fashion, on time. More often than not public transportation involves guessing at which time the bus will be there; extra points are awarded for figuring out if the bus is late or if it is early.
So my usual connection to work arrives at my stop around 7:50. However, the schedule places the bus at either 7:20 or 8:00. And since the 7:20 usually drives past at around 7:15, the one I take is early.
And then there are situations like I experienced yesterday when two buses of the same line were at the bus stop around 17:50. Their schedule would place them at 17:40 and 18:00. Both early and late. Or late and extremely late.
So, what does that mean? Does it even have a specific meaning?
Well, as I see it, this is one of the beautiful things here. Everything works at its own pace. Sure, things get delayed and more often than not you are in a situation that, as a German, would be unthinkable. But that is also the beauty that a place like this holds. Life is not a series of exactly timed calendar appointments. Life flows and in the end, everything will work out. And it has, so far. So if that means that I should aim at a bus that leaves 20 minutes earlier, I can live with that.