All posts tagged: public transportation

lost and found

This afternoon I finally finished reading Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please – my #SpringBreakRead no.3! She ends the book with a story about forgetting her laptop at a TSA checkpoint, losing with it about 50 or 60 pages of that very book saved on the hard drive. She spent a full day in complete despair until she received and email notifying her that her laptop had been recovered and she could pick it up at the LAX lost and found immediately! I realized I have an almost identical story, though it doesn’t involve losing months of writing or hundreds of dollars… You see, in April of last year I lost my bus pass. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Losing a €20 monthly bus pass doesn’t seem as devastating as losing a computer, Anne!” I know I know. Especially since spring vacation was coming up and I would hardly need to use the bus anyway… But I was still genuinely upset! My pass consisted of an identity card with a horrifying passport-style photo of me, bundled with a …

small talk

“March 26 – The bus driver chatted me up for 10 minutes about his BLUEGRASS BAND after taking the wrong route.” The bus I rode every day to work was Ligne 4: Chamoux – Champet par Madeleine et Myosotis. Not to be confused with Ligne 40: Chamoux – Champet par Buisson Rond et La Villette. The former stopped right in front of the school where I worked in Chambéry, France. The latter was basically the same exact route, minus the two stops near the school. About once a month, the bus driver forgot which of the two he was driving that morning and turned off the wrong branch of the roundabout, a road that would bypass my stop entirely. Those were always great mornings… The first time this happened, there were only three people on the bus: me and two other women. “Any of you going to Ste. Thérèse or Madeleine?” the bus driver called back to us, obviously hoping that he could avoid having to turn around. Too bad for him, all three of us were headed to Madeleine. …

Train Wreck

DC has the Tourist Trolley. Boston has the Duck Boat. France (and many countries in Western Europe) has the Petit Train. These are two- or three-car tiny trains that would fit in at an amusement park or an especially large zoo, meant to drive tourists past notable attractions in any given city.Walk around the city center anywhere in France, no matter the size of the town, and you are likely to hear the clang of the little train’s bell beckoning tourists far and wide to climb aboard. Chambéry has one of these “Petits Trains Touristiques“and from my arrival, I was dying to take a ride on it. Yes, it’s overpriced. Yes, it’s a ridiculous tourist attraction. But, c’mon! It’s just so darn cute! Not too long after I arrived, the train sadly went on haitus, making way for the Christmas market and waiting for the snow to clear up. It is very difficult to understand why and how these trains became such a weird obsession for me. Any time one passed, it gave me a little burst of joy. I think the thing …

Today, I was 9 minutes late to class

The #4 bus has somewhat of an unpredictable schedule. Sometimes it leaves early, leaving me stranded on the sidewalk. Sometimes it arrives late, leaving me staring at my watch, foot tapping in anxiety. This morning it was the latter. When your commute is as tightly timed as mine, every second counts. Right off the bat, this put me 4 minutes behind schedule. I arrived at school to find the front gate locked. This wasn’t a surprise, as it’s been locked every day since the January attacks, the only immediately visible way the tragic events have impacted my daily life. It does add a solid 45 seconds to my routine though, as I don’t have a key and must rush around to the preschool to be let in. By then, I was 5 minutes behind schedule.

Train ticket trifecta

Something strange has been happening in France. It started on our TGV from Marseille back to Chambéry. We were met at our platform by three SNCF agents checking everyone’s ticket before being allowed onto the train. Then, during the journey, the conductor came by to check our tickets again. Then, on our TER regional train between Lyon and Chambéry, our tickets were checked for a third time. For those of you wondering what is so strange about this scenario, let me introduce you to my friend, Neal.

ONE MONTHIVERSARY!

That’s right, gang. It’s June 15 which marks exactly one month since I arrived (May 15) and one month until I return (July 15). Pretty crazy, right?! Since I now have lived in two of the greatest nations’ capital cities, I present to you the following lists to commemorate this momentously bittersweet occasion. Top Things Paris is doing better than DC 1) Bread. Step into any boulangerie and you’ll smell what I mean. Unless you go for the artesanal Harris Teeter Bakery loaves, most of the bread we eat in the States is square and comes in a colorful bag. Which is not to say that stuff doesn’t exist here because I guess some people make sandwiches out of it. The last bag of “pain de mie” we bought was actually called “American Sandwich” I kid you not. But that’s because the French have even perfected the sandwich beyond what we can handle in America. Take a look at the popular baguette sandwich. Compact, flavorful, hearty, everything I love in a sandwich plus the added benefit of …

Take a ride on the Paris Métro!

Bonjour Westgate!! Today I want to tell you about something important to the life of every single Parisian: Public Transportation!! In big cities like Paris, Washington DC, and New York it’s very important to have an effective system of public transportation  so that people don’t have to drive everywhere. More than 2.2 million people live in Paris; can you imagine if all of them drove to work every single day?! Luckily, Paris has one of the best Metro systems in the world!