For the past seven years, I have traveled the same route to the same school. Twenty-seven minutes down two parkways and a highway. Two right turns and two left turns and I was at my school. It was one of the reasons I bought a Prius. Several people thought I was a bit crazy making that commute everyday – choosing to live in the more expensive Nashville while teaching in the suburbs. I loved that commute. It helped me wake up in the morning, let me decompress in the afternoon, and gave me an opportunity to enjoy some audiobooks. It was tough leaving behind my Prius, but I was also excited to be free of a car payment and to let someone else take me through traffic for a while.
However, my new commute is a little more complicated. School is about a 35 minute bus ride away from my apartment. Plus I have about a ten minute walk from apartment to bus stop and another ten minute walk from bus stop to school. For a non-morning person like me, this is going to be a bit of a challenge. At least I will still have my audiobooks. (All recommendations for new ones are appreciated!)
I purchased my residence bus pass on Friday. I was excited to learn that this card gave me a bit of a discount every trip. However, after waiting a few minutes for my new commuter bus (DM1), I discovered that the urban bus pass doesn’t work on the suburban bus line. Montevideo is a bit complicated when it comes to the lines. Different companies run different lines, which makes passes a bit obsolete if you are switching lines. **SIDE STORY – Katie (another new teacher), her sister and I decided to try out the bus system to see how complicated it was going to be. The bus driver did not speak English but made it very clear that I could not use the pass when I tried. So the three of us got off the bus looking super confused. This amazing sweet woman came up to us and asked us in English if we needed any help. Everyone is super friendly in this country. They want to be helpful and hospitable. This is not the first time a total stranger came to my aid while I was looking lost or unsure. She explained the convoluted system to us and gave us information about the line we needed to take to get from my new apartment to Katie’s new apartment.**
So after realizing my bus pass dilemma, I came back to the hotel to do some bus research. There was a lot of google translate and google maps consulting (really, what on earth would I do without google), but I finally figured out two ways to get to school. The first is the DM1 which will cost me 58 pesos each way (roughly $2). The second is taking the urban line #121 to Av 18 Julio stop and then get on #64 to Carrasco, which will cost 29 pesos each way (roughly $1). Needless to say, this girl is probably going to shell out the extra dollar in order to save some morning time. And it will still be cheaper than a car, so we will see how long I can hold off before I start to regret waking up an hour early.