Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don't Piss Off the Bus Driver

Bus to Plitvice Lakes
 You wouldn't say the bus driver on the way to Plitvice Lakes in Croatia was necessarily a people person. He was short with his answers and just downright rude. He wouldn't even let us stop for a restroom break; making us travel FOUR HOURS before stopping for 20 mins five minutes from our destination. Yes, five. All of us passengers were giving each other puzzled looks. Me, I literally ran off the bus because I'd been asking for 2 hours when we were going to stop only to receive the gruff reply of, "Later!"
Full of relief, "Hvala," I told him when I got back on the bus. He looked surprised. (Hvala means, "Thank you" in Croatian.)

I met a woman on the bus from New York. She was pretty cool, but I guess her tone rubbed the driver the wrong way. (You know how abrupt New Yorkers can be.) She tried asking him several times when we were stopping for a break and he'd simply say, "I'll tell you." I guess she didn't take too kindly to being talked to like a child, so she'd ask him again a while later. Me, I've learned that when it comes to "officials" in other countries, you just do as they say.  Five minutes down the road after our restroom break, the bus stopped to let passengers off. There were signs that said Plitvice, but there are two entrances and I wanted to be sure to get off at the most convenient one. Miss New York and her friend got off, so I figured it was my stop, too. Miss New York tried asking him if it was the right stop, but he refused to answer her. He actually physically turned away from her. As I started to grab my bag and get off, the driver roughly told me, "Get back on the bus!"
"This isn't the stop?" I asked.
"I will tell you! Get back on the bus," as he continued to pull bags from underneath the bus.

I tapped Miss New York on the shoulder and asked her if she heard him. That this wasn't our stop. "Well, I think this is ours," she said. I was a bit nervous because we were going to the same place. Do I get off with them or listen to the driver? I got back on the bus. After the bus pulled off, I walked up the front and asked the driver if he was SURE that wasn't my stop. He smiled slightly and said, "Yes, I'm sure."  A few minutes later he told me we were at my stop. I hopped off along with a few others, looked around, and saw that we were at the convenient Entrance 2. Thank goodness!

Later that evening, after dropping off my luggage and hiking 3.5 miles around the lake and stopping at the only local restaurant for dinner, I ran into the ladies from New York. After exchanging surprised exclamations, they invited me to sit at their table. That was when Miss New York told me about their adventure after they got off. Apparently, the driver let them off someplace where they had to walk along the narrow shoulder of the highway for miles past sporadic houses until they eventually found their way to the park. I do believe the driver intentionally let them get off at the wrong stop. Why didn't he tell them to get them off where the rest of us got off? Dah, well!

Lesson: Don't piss off the bus driver...especially when you don't know where you're going and he does.
Wooden Walkways at Plitvice Lakes



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog. It's absolutely amazing that you travel all over the world like you do. I love to get out of the US, but I never would have thought to go to Croatia. That's a beautiful shot. Do you know where you're going next?


6:17 PM  
Blogger The Black Planeteer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Akilah! I'm thinking Paris next. I can't wait!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Eshe Pickett said...

Wow! My twin sister's name is funny that someone by that name felt compelled to comment on this same post! Great lessons to be learned while traveling, I'm subscribed to you now :-)

10:17 AM  
Blogger The Black Planeteer said...

Oh, wow! That is something! I've only met one Akilah. Thanks for stopping by and subscribing!

11:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home