I packed my trusty overnight bag as usual and wandered down to the bus stop to go to Málaga.
The main road buses are coach-type buses, that are used for long distance journeys, with luggage stored underneath. Overall, I think the drivers are pretty good, and usually pleasant. What never fails to fascinate me is their amazing accuracy. It obviously alleviates the boredom of being a bus driver, but whenever they pull up to the bus stop, they stop exactly at your feet. It is no good jumping back or moving up and down because that spoils the game. If you stay on the spot where they have seen you, they will pull in, and the door will be immediately in front of you. And I mean immediately. When the door opens your first step is right onto the bus. I think that is sooo clever, and that’s why I don’t move out of the way now like a frightened chicken.
The bus fare is 1.90€. It tends to go up at the beginning of the year though so I was expecting to pay extra. I had a 2€ coin ready.
It had gone up one centimo to 1.91€. I ask you. It’s not even worth it. The bus driver didn’t think so either and gave me ten cents change.
Contrast this with the local service from the village into town, where the bus fare was somewhere around 80 or 90 cents and suddenly went up to a whopping 1.30€ (ie at least 50%). Not only that, they cut the buses back. Now, of course, as the buses run less frequently and cost more money, they are being used less. For a couple of oldies who live solely out of a pension that is a big rise. One of our younger neighbours was saying that less and less people were using the local bus service. That will give the council a great opportunity to axe it completely. I can always walk down to the main road and get the (cheaper) highway bus service. Or I can walk or cycle into town. But not everyone has that choice.
I should have mentioned that the increase in local fares co-incided with the inauguration of the new tram service. The one that is vastly over-budget. They are also now constructing phase two. More money needed. Where does the tram service run? Between the county town and its seaside resort. Does my village benefit from the tram? No. I think trams are A Good Idea. But not at the expense of local services to villages. I am not even particularly cynical about the local council.
Back to my trip. In Málaga I asked for a ticket to La Linea. Expecting another price increase. This was equally silly. Another centimo, from 10.30€ to 10.31€. How utterly bizarre.
I sat aimlessly on the bus. (I am normally aimless anyway, but even more so on buses). It wasn’t busy. That was good. It had been cloudy when I set off – also good as that meant I wasn’t standing at the bus stop in hot sun – but once past Marbella it was glorious weather so I dozed a bit in the nice warm sun through the glass. Oh, I should say though, not a good idea to sit on the seat in front of the emergency door as you get a whacking great draught. Plugged it with jacket and bag.
Arrived in GibFlat. Picked up more post than we have had in total since we have been there, including a reminder – plus penalties – for rates. Er, we’ve never had those bills. Bah! There were a couple of cards for Pippadog though so that cheered me up.
I ordered a pizza. It was vile. I usually pick off the cheese and give it to the dog. The base was soft. That didn’t leave much. The chillies were nice, but there weren’t enough of them and I had forgotten to bring some from the finca.
The next day I hot-footed it down to the veg shop and the supermarket. Things looked up. I sorted the rates out. Even the washing machine that seemed to be sulking at me AGAIN has managed to finish its cycle (must have been an air lock).
So city life in the flat is cool again. But my two lives are so different and it actually takes a while to adjust again.
Anyway the other day on the finca I took some flower pix of our winter? spring? flowers. I love the snowdrops and crocuses I use to have in the UK but it’s also nice to have bougainvillea, jasmine, plumbago, and carnations flowering – outside. Oh, and stocks and strawberries too.