Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cash is King (Again)

I've finally found the means to top up my travelcard. While I still don't have access to a bank account or an e-wallet, I have found the means to top up.

While browsing through the train station today, on the way to my bus, I  walked by the bank of electronic ticket machines. I was checking them all to see if any accepted Maestro. Irritatingly, while all the machines have the Maestro option on them, it's locked out on every single one. While I was checking them, I spotted one machine which was slightly different from the others, wider and deeper. Swiping into it, because that's how you activate these things, I tried to top up my card. Again I found the Maestro option locked out, but this particular machine had a coin feed, so I was able to top it up with change. This was timely too, as I only had about one journey left on my card.

I also spent some time this evening looking around on the town on google maps. There's a shopping area just five minutes from my house, I had no idea. I took a stroll down there earlier this evening. A bar, some restaurants, boutiques, a shopping market and an assortment of random shops, including a bike shop. No laundry service though, no takeout either. Still, it'll be useful when I want to go grocery shopping again, or feel like looking at a bicycle.

There's a special bus here in Holland, the 300, it's a little strange. It's an express bus that travels in a circular fashion from Haarlem to Amsterdam via Schiphol Airport, passing every train station along the way. Now, we have express buses in Ireland, and airport buses. They just take the road to where they're going. This bus, the 300, it's above all that. Literally. For the majority of it's journey, it has it's own dedicated stretch of road. In many places, it's raised off the ground. There's a bus stop, halfway between where I am and where I work, just for passengers to change over to it. 

Now, I've checked the times on this bus, and there's a four hour stretch in the middle of the night where this bus doesn't run. Think of it, a dedicated stretch of road between two cities, raised up from the ground on stilts like some sort of country wide overpass. For four hours, ever night, it's empty. I don't know about you, but if I were a dutch boy racer, I know where I'd bring my super fly set of wheels. 

Speaking of boy racers and sweet rides, I saw a boxcar racer on the cycle road yesterday. It was a smallish yellow thing, trundling along on bicycle wheels, with the drivers head sticking out of the top without a care in the world. Maybe dutch boy racers don't soup up Honda Civics and old Fiats, maybe they modify their bicycles. I don't know if that's true or not; What I do know is that I now want a boxcar racer.

1 comment:

  1. Omg box racer sounds so awesome! Get pictures of this please.