Until two days ago I had easily gotten around using public transportation and had never gotten on the wrong bus. Can I hear a round of applause- this isn't an easy feat! But in the last two days, I've gotten on two wrong buses. Yep, two.
Yesterday was my fault. I was in a place where I normally catch a bus and apparently I should have been listening closer and paid more attention to the hand signals. I realized as soon as we started moving that this was not the bus I wanted to be on. But then I figured that I'd see where it would take me, just for fun. There was a lot of traffic and we were moving slowly. There were a few times I wanted to just get out and walk, but I also wanted to see where it would take me, which was likely to be a market or a bus stop where I could find a bus that would take me in the right direction. We finally got to a spot where everyone was supposed to get off, and it looked hopeful, with many buses around. Unfortunately, as I walked around looking at the sides where their routes are written, I didn't see a single one that went to my part of town. So, I started walking. I knew that a ways up the road there was a place where I could catch the correct bus, but it was a looong ways away. As I walked down the road I stopped a few times to ask friendly looking women, "bus, *insert area of town here* where?" in Arabic. I always got told, "Next stop that way." They like to be encouraging around here and not dissapoint you. Unfortunately, it wasn't very encouraging to hear, "next stop" at each next stop! After a long walk, I finally made it, and I think I learned my lesson about listening carefully!
Getting on a wrong bus today was not all my fault. I was in a totally new area of town and I had no clue where I was. I walked to what I thought was the correct spot, and after a few of the same bus came by I asked, saying the name of my area, the guy kind of waved me onto the bus, and I saw that the name of my area was on the bus. I figured I had it right. But then after a little while, I knew it wasn't. And I was completely lost (remember, I am quite directionally challenged and it was not time for prayer). I just knew we hadn't gone over a bridge like we were supposed to, but I had not a clue which way was home, or where in the world I would find a bus home. So I stuck it out, resolving to enjoy my ride in a place I had never seen, and that at the worst I would have to pay extra to take a taxi home. I ended up in a market at a bus station, yipee! And I walked a few steps, asked where I would find a bus to my area, walked back to the bus the one I was previously on had parked and got on. This means that I had been on the right bus, it was just going in the wrong direction. Whoops! I was still a bit worried, so I tried hard to figure out if we were headed in the right direction.
First thought- It's afternoon, so the sun is on it's way to setting.
The sun sets behind the mountains in Colorado.
The mountains are west.
The sun is mostly behind me, which means we are going East.
Wait- I have no clue which way we should be going, hopefully home is East!
Luckily, it was. We crossed a bridge, and was overjoyed to see Lucky Meal. Yes, Lucky Meal, it's the local version of McD's. I had finally made it close to home, and rode the bus until it stopped and made everyone get off, which was only about a mile from home, and I could easily walk!
Note: This was written a week ago now, and I have not gotten on any wrong buses since. I learned my lesson and listen more closely and don't follow my instinct when getting on a bus!