How much does your time cost?

Yesterday we decided to head to City Mall to do a little shopping.  We needed some supplies for the summer program with the girls, I am in desperate need of clothes that actually fit me, and we thought we’d start exploring what our options are for baby stuff… strollers, cribs, carseats, etc. (Random side note, most babies ride on laps here… even laps of motorcycle-driving dads!)

We use taxis and services (shared taxis) a lot, so we thought we’d try out the bus this time.  Buses here don’t run on a set schedule, and there aren’t set stops.  Just a general route with a start and end point.  So you stand on the side of the road, and when you see the bus you want you flag it down and hop on.  It is by far the cheapest mode of transportation here – 1,000 LL per person, which is 33 cents.  We found our bus quickly and settled in for what we expected to be a half hour ride, maybe 45 minutes since there was a lot of traffic.

But our bus driver was in no hurry.  He crept along at about 5 mph, honking at anyone walking by to see if they wanted a ride.  He was determined to fill his bus.  At most of the major intersections we crossed he pulled over and stopped, just in case someone wanted to climb aboard.  He also seemed to have lots of friends along the route and had no problem stopping and having a chat.  Finally the bus was nearly full and he started driving a bit faster, but only a few minutes later several people got off, so it was back to the snail’s pace.

An hour and a half later, we finally arrived at the mall.

We checked out all the shops, had a yummy chocolate croissant, and decided to take a taxi home.  $6.50 and we were home in 12 minutes.

posted by: nicolette

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5 thoughts on “How much does your time cost?

  1. At least you have a sense of humor about it. I think I may have comandered the bus and made a straight shot to the mall. Did I forget to say one of my flaws is patience?….

  2. And here I thought the bus system in xian was bad. thanks to the goverment buses, the drivers get paid either way–so they don care if you only get one foot in the door, they are taking off! ok, not quite that bad. – kevin

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