Greece Vs Germany: The bus

In my previous life in Greece, I have seen the improvements to and in the mass transport system over a period of 34 years.  In the early years, the busses ran to no particular time schedule, the bus stops always had a large number of people waiting to get on.(The ride itself an only be described as a full body sensory adventure)  The inside of the bus resembled how it must feel for canned sardines…falling down was not a possibility, a number of odors – from garlic to keep the vampires at bay and various body fluid bouquets as added bonuses.  On top of that, the smell of cheap tobacco, not just from the conductor who squeezed himself through the throng of bodies, collecting the fares, but also from other passengers.  All women and girls were apt to be fondled by male passengers as added benefit, I imagine that some men and boys got their share of undesired caresses.   Those days are long gone and as I said the bus journey has since developed.  There are better schedules, better busses, more routes, not to mention that building the metro for the Olympic Games 2004 boosted transport(one of the only really useful remnants of the constructions that in the end spun Greece into its economic crisis).

Using public transport(except  for DB trains) here in Germany is an ode to comfort.  Sheltered bus stops, equipped with trash cans and ashtrays, the schedules either visibly show cased or on digital boards, with line numbers and remaining minutes till arrival, the buses are always on time, and the interior of the bus, heated or cooled, there are ramps for the elderly with either wheel chairs or rollator walkers and the bus leans to the curb for easy dis/embarkment.  

Standing at a local bus stop, is a cultural and generational exploit.  People from at least 4 continents of the planet and of all ages and skin colors.  The short wait is always a pleasant opportunity for either a friendly conversation, eavesdropping on on-going chats or practicing your foreign language skills.



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