Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Take the night bus

Where Gina makes it to the suburbs, learns the value of getting off at the right stop and sees an incredible concert

Sometimes when you make a decision to do something, you don’t really think about all of the little things that will have to happen for this big thing to take place. That’s what happened when I bought a ticket to see Paris Combo. I was so excited to go, and so proud for not talking myself out of going, that I failed to realize that the concert was, in fact, in the suburbs of Lyon. Read- very very south and far from where I live. Whoops.

Never fear! thought I, you can figure this out. You are smart and capable and can figure out how 8 people (yes 8, word got out about the concert and many people wanted to go) can get to and from Feyzin, taking into account that public transportation closes a little after midnight. You can also cook dinner for 6 of these people beforehand- all while blindfolded! Well, maybe not with a blindfold. But I digress… Anyway, closer examination revealed that to get to the concert venue, we would have to take Metro D all the way to Gare de Venissieux, the terminus, and then get bus 60 to arret La Bégude. I know that they always say that getting there is half the fun, but this time it appeared that getting back would take that cake. In order to avoid the ridiculous cost of taxis, we decided to try and get back on public transportation as well. Since the 60 is a Ligne de Nuit (a night bus- only certain of the buses run after 9pm) I figured that we were ok. I even sent two friends (who are also work-study at the Centre Oregon) out on the route to check it out. They came back with a description that included the words “sketchy” and “really far,” as well as a bus schedule. Then came the real excitement- Bus 60 only runs at night if someone calls to reserve it. Yes, reserves it. I somehow was delegated the responsibility of calling the public transportation service to reserve a bus and was told that we now had to take the bus. Great. I didn’t care if we had to leave the concert early- we were going to be on that bus!

Saturday came and I got up early to go to the market and clean and make dinner for a big group (assisted by the best sous-chefs ever). We ate and ran out of the apartment to catch the metro, dubbed the Willy Wonka metro because of its similarity to the boat without a driver and its twisty-turny nature, and find the correct bus stop. Everything would have been fine except for the difficulty we had in getting off at the right stop. We buzzed at the right time, but the driver stopped at the wrong stop (which we thought was the right stop). This caused a lot of wandering around residential neighborhoods in the dark looking for any sign that said “L’Epicerie Moderne” and getting directions from the third car we asked. But we made it. And it was worth it- the concert was phenomenal. Paris Combo is definitely a live band. The atmosphere was great- people of all ages showed up and everyone was enthusiastic. I was very happy.

We had to leave a bit early to catch this supposed reserved bus, and I was apprehensive that the bus wouldn’t show and that everyone else would feed me to lions. I don’t know where they’d find lions, but it would totally happen. At exactly the time indicated by the TCL people, the craziest bus ever pulled up. Not as big as a normal bus, and a bit more cushy, it was driven by a hilarious guy blasting techno music. Aaaaand we were the only people on board. This night bus reminded some of the group of the famous Knight Bus in Harry Potter. Ha. We made it to Gare de Venissieux in record time (probably due to the lack of other stops and the insane speed at which we were going) and caught the metro, again.

So, the moral of this story is- fear not the night bus. The night bus is your friend and has fun music.


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