A tale of two journeys

I walk down the stairs and into the garage where my car is parked. It is quiet in the garage,  the only noise is the buzzing of the ventilation system – until I have started my car, of course. The reception of the radio station I am listening to gets better as I leave the garage. The neighbourhood streets are a bit stressful to drive through, cars are parked randomly and cyclists come from everywhere. I have driven this route to the motorway many times before, and I know I can expect some delay at traffic lights and some busy city traffic, which I take for granted. My destination of today is new to me though, but I have looked at the map thoroughly. The route is inside my head and I feel slightly excited that I am going to find my way again all by myself. The motorway lies quite hidden between the hills, and there are many trucks on the road, so I don’t see much of the surroundings. And there you have it, a queue. How I hate that. Wait a minute, what is that bus doing on the shoulder lane? Whatever, I have this queue to deal with, with some support of my favorite radio station. And indeed I find my way to my destination, of which I am proud. But the proudness soon turns into anger when I have to find my way to and around a car park. Luckily it is only a short walk away from my destination, and during that walk I try to lose this feeling of anger by breathing in fresh air. I have arrived in time.

I walk down the stairs and leave through the front door. It is bright and quiet outside, and the birds are singing in the small park I walk through before arriving at the bus stop. Several buses pass before my bus arrives, I have left home way too early again. The bus driver first does not notice that I want to get on, but stops just in time. Pff, this is the only bus at this time of day so I cannot miss it, or I will get too late. Before I am properly seated the bus is already halfway down the street. But I can relax now, I only have to get off at he right stop, which will be announced automatically. I am very satisfied that I found out about this bus stopping near my home and taking me all the way to my destination of today. Unlike many buses, this bus takes the shortest route to my destination, and uses the motorway. There is a queue on the motorway, but the bus takes the shoulder lane and I am looking down and smiling at all the cars that we pass. My high position in the landscape allows for a wide view on the area around the motorway. When we drive into the city I start feeling a little unconfortable through the sudden braking actions of the bus driver. After being dropped off at my destination I feel slightly disoriented, finding that the building I have to go to is behind me, which was against my sense of direction. But anyway, I have arrived way in time.

Two vehicles. Same route. Different stories.

(Inspired by a bus journey between Amersfoort and Utrecht, the Netherlands)

 

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