DAY 20: Five transportation lessons we learned in a single day

Last Thursday was supposed to be a fun-filled day of art and transportainment. It didn’t quite turn out that way.

Stephanie was feeling better after a good night’s sleep. Thank you, painkillers. She did not hold me responsible for ruining her life.

On the schedule was our second “Looking at Art” event. The previous week we’d had a wonderful time. So, we boarded the #56 bus with high hopes, despite the soggy conditions. We were supposed to visit two artists’ studios. This involved three bus rides totaling 44 minutes, 14 minutes of walking (to and from bus stops) and one 19-minute carpool trip.

Instead, we managed 25 minutes of bus time, 65 minutes of walking and 0 carpool trips. And we only visited one artist’s studio, barely. And we got wet. And tired.

Who knew?

You have to pay attention when riding the bus. And not get on the wrong bus. And get off quickly if you are on the wrong bus. What else?

Lesson 1: Some bus stops serve two or more bus lines. After the #56 bus, we should have gotten on the #41. We got on the #40. Small number difference, very big route difference.

Not the #40! Not the #40!

Lesson 2: Use your noggin. On Google Maps, the first bus route that shows up is not necessarily the best one for you. You have to apply what some people refer to as “common sense, you idiot.”

Lesson 3: The effects of bad decisions can be exponential. We combined two bad bus decisions with one horrendous decision (mine) about walking.

Lesson 4: You can’t defy the laws of geography. Inventing roads in your mind that do not exist in reality invariably leads to disappointment.

Lesson 5: Learning more than one lesson per trip leads to unhappiness. 


Speaking of divorce

Sometimes people leave behind reading material on buses and at bus stops. You should definitely read whatever they’re generous enough to share, especially when it’s La Subasta.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

This is what I’ve told Stephanie, and I believe it’s true. Very soon, this whole car-free existence thing will be a worldwide phenomenon. We’re really onto something here. I just know it.

For new readers, please know that Stephanie and I have been married for 41 years. We are happy. We are not getting divorced. She read this before I hit “Publish.” And we are both on medications that have dire warnings about not operating heavy machinery or making important financial decisions.



  1. The day will come when you grill be remembered as St. Paul of Carless! Of course you will need to be dead first. Given your track record that could occur sooner than you think!

  2. Now that you are sensitized to it, I’ll bet that the bus announces which route its serving when the boarding doors open. That way, one stop can be serviced by several routes, and an attentive passenger won’t suffer your fate.

    1. Operative phrase: “attentive passenger.” It’s just like when you first learn to drive. Some of us don’t pay attention to directions until we’re behind the wheel.

  3. Well, if you are counting your steps with an Apple watch or phone, you should be doing great!

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