I grew up taking public transport to take me and my family to places. In Manila, we were trained to walk, take tricycle, pedicab, jeepneys, taxi, fx, buses, LRT and the ridiculous and controversial MRT. Growing up with these modes of moving and getting around had also taught us life values such as patience, ( enduring traffic) kindness ( sharing space and passing the fare to the driver) and resilience ( when one mode of transpo breaks down or there’s flood … dont give up).
Then my life overseas had started in 2005 and I still take public transport. However, it is a totally different ballgame out there. In Bahrain, it is a small country and usually people drive around, take a cab or bus.Since it was my first overseas exposure , I was advised by my employer and friends to take a cab or carpool with friends ( it is safer) . That was how I got to move around in the desert for 2 years.
In 2008,I was in Medan, Indonesia. Things were easier as I have my good friend Sarah and her mum who were my colleagues too. So after school , whenever we feel like exploring the street food culture and getting a foot massage. We usually take a becak ( tricycle). This is how I it helped me learn to speak the Indonesian language by starting with numbers, road directions and haggling . There are also taxi services that you can call( we recommend Express and Blue Bird) they have reliable and safe cabs and it is good especially if you are travelling as a group. There’s also “angkot” or a minivan converted to take 16 passengers. I would suggest to take this ride if youre already familiar with your area or with a local indonesian friend can be with you as angkots can sometimes be tricky and change routes at the last minute.
My commuting life had improved so much when I moved in 2010-2012 to Singapore. With their Ezlink cards that you use to take the trains and buses. Singapore is a country and city ( it’s a small country) but one of the best places to live at because of the high standards of living. Of course there are days that there are train delays and bus problems but it is efficiently handled and if I would put Manila as a point of comparison….. oh well let’s just say I will rest my case your honor.
That was commuting my way in South East Asia and the part of Middle East. Middle of 2012, I transitioned from Dubai to Germany. Dubai has a new railway system which is also impressive ( it has 1st class cabins and ladies only cabins too) I managed to give it a go during my month long stay and made me see and visit tourist spots in Deira, Old Souk, endless malls and the Burj Khalifa.
In Germany, I lives in a city called Wolfsburg .Buses run on a very prompt schedule ( German precision timing). It can get pretty crowded between 7-15-8 with students and employees. Theres a one month valid ticket that costs 60 euro that allows you to travel within your district.
German trains ( Deutschebahn) can be pretty expensive so I had applied for a Ticket card to give discounts on long trips. It was helpful because It offers discounts to travel intercity , regional and even across Euro ( we tried it when we we went to Paris) . My advice though is that , it is handy to learn to speak basic German as regional trains can sometimes only have their announcements in German. Also, download a travel app DB to guide your journey.
And what are the odds that me and my fiance now DH will live and work in Geoje? Oh well, I have to be honest that I didnt really use their public transport other than their taxis, and an occassional trip around Busan with my parents and friends with their train and bus). My advice again is to have a local friend to help you at first to get around as It can be tricky to decode Korean and not all locals speak English. They will brush you off rudely like shooing a fly and say NO ENGLISHYYYY. But here’s a tip though: if you are caucasian,( blonde, blue eyed , fair skinned ) you will be treated nicely. However, if you dont fit the profile that I just described,( and if you have tanned skin like me or darker, ) you have a high chance to be “shooed” away.
Note: I am writing this from my experience living in Geoje for almost 2 years. So do not put a comment saying I am being mean to the Koreans. We all have different experiences and mine wasnt good so F off. And write your own blog about them.
Closing the Korean chapter is an awesome relief for us. I hope and pray that we will not have to return there .
A great relief when we arrived here in Australia. From Perth, where we first settled in. The bus, train and ferry system follows a card system ( transperth) that one card can be used to the 3 . Just make sure you have enough credit or top it up when you hit low on the machines or newagents.
Same goes here in NSW. My little one and I have been going on trips from our place here in Central Coast and down to Sydney. It is an hour and a half journey sometimes more if we venture to the suburbs to visit my aunt and grandma bit everything is so easy to follow. If there are track and train issues they would advice and give alternatives.
It is pretty obvious that I love commuting. But it sure has its downsides to and that Is why I am going to learn to drive here soon.At least i have better options in case one of my many ways to get around is not available. Oh I also think of learning to ride a bike as in a bicycle. Hahahaah.
Photo credit: google images