There are no sidewalks in USA but bus drivers are great

We are still waiting in the marina without showers and laundry for our friend who will help us to repair the boat – there are no problems, just solutions… I don’t know after how many days, but sun is shining again – the plan for today: city center and battleship.

We are leaving the boat – it takes me some time and Jan is waiting. As we approach the bus stop we see the bus leaving – doesn’t matter it goes every 20 minutes (as our neighbour from the big catamaran said). But in reality the bus goes every hour – Jan cannot resist to remind me that we could have be on time – but it is a nice day so why worry… We try to find the way to the center on the smartphone and it looks close on that small display. So we walk along the road. The footpath ends always at the crossroads without any signs of crosswalks. First bus passes us next to a bus stop… all other somewhere between the stops. After two hours of walking we don’t want to spend money for the bus anymore (we don’t know how much is the ticket) – it cannot be much further. It can be and it is! The total time of our walk is 3 hours 50 minutes.

We sit on the first bench next to the river and watch the battle ship on the other side. We open the can of beans and relax our muscles. It’s too late today to go to the ship so we at least walk around the center – what can be better than more walk on hard surface after 4 hours of walking.

There is a nice downtown in Wilmington. The first streets next to the river are mostly bars and small shops but further are nice old houses from last century. The streets look like from a painting – not just because of the colors of the buildings but because of the colors of the foliage (this is our longest autumn ever :))

End, finito, I cannot walk more and I won’t! I want to go home, but not walking… fortunately neither Jan wants. Just around the corner is a bus stop but according to the schedule we’ve missed the bus couple minutes ago. Terrible! I need a break and eat a carrot (our last food we have for this trip). We start to walk again, but when we look back there is a BUS! We start to run back… and the bus is leaving. No, it would look like this in Slovakia…

American version is: the bus driver sees us and waits, opens the door, greets us and I’m so surprised that I use just my basic “tarzan” English to explain where we want to go – yes, we are in correct bus. The ticket is 3 dollars for both of us. I’m trying to feed the machine with the one dollar bills – it took me some time to realize what to do and where to put it. The bus driver is inpatient because we are causing delay and trows us out of the bus…

No, this would do a Slovak bus driver 🙂 Here the driver takes the money and helps us put it to the machine. That’s it – we don’t get any tickets so we suppose, the fare is 1.50 for every bus connection.

During the drive we see that the buses here are adapted for carrying bicycles and wheelchairs – seat belts, platform. The driver asks again if we want to continue on bus 102 to our destination. We are probably a little bit late, so he calls through the radio to the bus 102 to wait for us. He shows us where the bus is waiting. We thank him and run to the connecting bus where we explain again where we want to get. The driver (woman) realizes that we need another bus (we’ve mixed 102 and 103) and calls the other bus to wait for us, because it has already left. She drops us at the next crossroads where the right bus is waiting for us.

We can again watch how the bus driver helps a wheelchair to get in and out of the bus and how easy is to take your bicycle on the front bicycle rack (without paying anything extra). After approximately one hour drive we get out of the bus on our stop (the bus driver naturally makes sure that we get on the right one). We are so excited that we describe this to Joe – he is not surprised (it is probably totally normal here).

I’m excited and a little bit of sad when I remember how the buses work back home…

Dear bus drivers! You influence lives of so many people every day. Your smile and good will can give so much positive energy to make this wold nicer. Use this your power and you will for sure get it back from your passengers…

(there exists a really funny song about bus drivers and disabled people – but unfortunately only in czech -if you want, you can wath it here.)

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