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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

The Transportation Dance

I would trade this teaching gig with few others, as the economy sits now. Getting paid to drop in on a lawyer or corp director — or three enthusiastic 20-somethings — who just want to talk about anything, is more work than most people believe it to be, but it is rewarding work, as I’m speaking with educated people who have opinions and arguments about any subject I can spark off a conversation with.

So the only sticking point about this gig (and there always is with whatever we do) is the buzzing around Prague getting to the offices. I estimate that I take 12 separate public trans rides per day. This includes transfers. From buses to subways (which have their own transfers) to trams. Oh, and I also walk a fair distance to a few places once the motorization ends.

Yet today was the first time I got stuck at a spot. Sort of. The #12 tram from Vltavska area was late. Then a substitute bus came, upon which about a million people bordered. Oh, you better believe I got myself a seat! But then the bus dumped us at a stop and, although I don’t speak much Czech, I got the message that the bus driver was saying to all the passengers: “Walk around the corner to the tram stop for your fucking #12, and stop bitching!”

So I did just that (but I wasn’t bitching). I waited for another 10 minutes, and then the 12 came and got me to the subway and then on up to Dejvicky (with a final bus transfer up to Suchdol). I got home in just over an hour, which was only about 10 minutes past my usual time from Vltavska. Which does not warrant much of a complaint. After five months and some 800+ transport trips, one interruption is a pretty good record.

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