For those of you unaware of the matter, transportation timings in Europe is a very serious matter. If a bus is scheduled for 10:32, 10:32 people start wondering what’s wrong if the bus isn’t at least in eye-sight. It’s top-notch. It lets everyone plan their days right and gives everyone the ability to get things done in decency if they choose to play by the rules.
To make sure that’s the way it is, everything has to go by the book. The bus driver doesn’t wait at a certain bus stop for more than 20 seconds. Literally. Even if someone comes storming down a road so they could make it on time, a driver can simply drive away. Most drivers even don’t stop if they’re not signaled to stop from someone on the bus or if nobody is even in the bus stop already. It saves a few extra seconds which is good for traffic.
I have a single bus stop next to my place. If I miss a bus I usually have to wait for 15 minutes for the next bus but because it was a public holiday I’d have to wait for about 45 minutes for the next ride. My appointment was at 20 past and it was still a minute or two past so I thought I had time to go, forgetting that I had to take the bus at 6 past. So when it was 4 past, it was an ugly scene at our household.
I threw on my pants, a shirt, a jacket, and with no time to even wear shoes, ran out with just my slippers (it’s cold at night. Not a good idea.) I live on the third floor so I had to jump 3 steps at a time down the stairs. I made it to the front porch by 5 past. 1 minute to go. It’s a 3 minute walk to the bus stop and I didn’t even know which side of the street I had to wait at.
I ran like my life depended on it.
I saw the bus presumably driving by, so I ran even faster, but realised there was no way to make it to the bus stop on time. So I stopped. I looked further ahead and spotted the same bus number coming to the other direction bus stop. That would have to be the right one (I was going in that directions thereabouts so that made better sense.) But no one was in the bus stop and it was definitely not going to wait unless someone was going off. I ran more, getting closer but not close enough for him to even see me but I’m running down the street that the bus will be taking so I’m hoping he’d see me and wait for me. I’m really pulling in closer!
He doesn’t see me.
Nobody is even coming off. He’s not even going to stop at the bus stop.
He drives away from the bus stop, and I slow down one last time. As I do, he takes the turn into the street I’m running down, and finally notices me pulling to almost a complete halt.
He realises I was trying to catch him. And I didn’t.
He stops. Not at a bus stop. But in the middle of the street. He stops for me to get on. He pulls over, and waves for me to come on in quickly.
My legs come back on again but my brain is still in shock of what is happening. I see the people on the bus all looking at me and they too are in quite the shock. I turn around the bus and get on.
I go to the front and thank him, still breathing louder than my voice.
Contrary to popular belief, Germans are not emotionless robots. Some of them are really nice people.