Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Night Bus and Other Adventures.

The other night I found myself on the bus quite late at night. The night service is actually pretty good - the bus runs every 10-20 minutes and the routes I use are all still running. However, the clientele at 1am is very different from the clientele at 1pm. Every night bus has a transit employee, or two, at each door and they are really strict about people paying for the service. This isn't the case as much during the day. Their presence is a bit overwhelming because they are all in hilarious, florescent yellow vests and when the bus has six doors they look a bit silly.

So, I was sitting near the front of the bus and I saw in the reflection of the window that everyone was turning around and laughing at someone. I turned around and in the middle of the giant bus is a girl vomiting on herself. I turned back to the front and laughed out loud to myself. Silly, young girls... Did the story end here? Did I make it home in a timely manner?


Mr. Transit man comes up and tells the bus driver what is going on. (These details from now on are just what I assumed what was going on... I can't be entirely sure what they were saying). Anyways, the bus driver pulls over at the next stop (a kinda sketchy place) and comes out of his bus driver cage and starts FAAAREEEAKING out. He is all sorts of angry, yelling and his tone is very sarcastic. I don't know who all the yelling was directed to but people slowly start getting off the bus. It is very rare that many people get off at this stop at all so I assume something different must be going on here. Some of the staff are just rolling their eyes and the bus driver is making phone calls on his bus phone. Eventually, the employees kick everyone off and I follow... Like I know what is going on.

Pukey McUpchuck is already on the street revealing the contents of her stomach to the sidewalk and her friend is buying some water for her. Meanwhile, a few people are yelling (some more than others) at the staff and the bus driver. Nothing is getting out of hand but it doesn't seem like we are going to be let back on the bus anytime soon. I hear the word taxi a couple of times and realize that yes, we are NOT getting back on the bus. The two who caused this all to happen start walking home and good thing they did because 30 people were about to become much, much more bitter. Moments later, the bus driver shuts off the lights and takes off... HE TAKES OFF!

Did I mention the 30 people on that bus? HE TOOK OFF! It was like 2am!

Needless to say we all had to wait for the next bus. Word of advice: Never vomit on transit in Budapest.

The other day I was called out into the hallway to talk to the two ladies that live in the building with us. I have talked to them probably 6 times over the last three weeks. Every time I make it very clear that I have no clue what they are trying to tell me. One time I even called my roommate and made them talk to her and then she translated for us. However, this time I go into the hallway and they start yakking away and I realize they've brought in an electrician because the power hadn't been working in the hallway for the last few days. I figured out what was going on and went back into my apartment. My roommate came home a little while later and they ran out to talk to her and they were apparently very shocked that I "really didn't understand Hungarian did I?" Really? What was your first clue?

Other than that, my weekend has been filled with touring the castle, a couple of malls, the parliament, an english bookstore, an english speaking presbyterian church, and curling up in bed all afternoon because I think I am sick. I will try to post more pictures and more interesting stories before I head to Berlin on Thursday!


  1. HI, Jill.
    I hope you are not coming down with the flu. It's here everywhere.
    Just as a "'driver and crowd response' comparison study" to pit against your experience, I plan to vomit on a city bus in Calgary. Probably the most accurate results will be obtained in a district where little English is spoken.
    love, auntie chris

  2. What Berlin?! That's awesome... I hope you will have a great time in my homecountry. Best wishes Marcus