Friday, October 14, 2005

Twelve Hours of Stuff

Yesterday was Week 3 of my MA Screenwriting course at Napier University. Since I'm a part-time student, I have only one day a week on campus. For the first two weeks (and the Kafkaesque Matriculation and Induction Day a week before), I drove into the Edinburgh, a 60 mile round trip. Thanks to recent events, petrol currently costs close to one pound sterling per litre. Our car, a Toyota Rav 4, gets about 330 miles to a 50 litre tank. That means it costs about eight quid to drive to Edinburgh and back from where we live. Parking near the campus can be tricky and I don't always have access to a car, so I needed to find an alternate means of getting into Napier.

Yesterday, I got the bus.

Gotta say, I've had more fun. For a start, the only bus that gets me into college before classes start at 9.30am leaves Biggar at 7.05am. That means getting up at 6.30am and doing some advance prep the night before. Then there's the long, tortuous journey into Edinburgh. Right now the main route, the A702, is completely closed for a 6-week long stint of roadworks so the coach has to take a painful detour via Netherurd, Blythe Bridge, Bogbank and other quaintly named places. That adds another 15-20 minutes to what is already an 80 minute journey. The seats are torture, the passengers sullen and exhaust fumes constantly leak into the bus.

Can't wait until it's the depths of winter and the journey gets even slower.

Coming back was much the same, but a smaller bus and less room. Plus the driver plainly thought he was in a Formula One Grand Prix or perhaps he aspires to NASCAR. Whatever his motivation, we got tossed about like 43 corks in a can of Dr Pepper. Can't say I enjoy long coach journeys much, but one word best describes that trip home: bilious. Staggered into the house at five to seven last night, exactly 12 hours after leaving, in much the same zombified state.

Happy happy joy joy.


oneslackmartian said...

Looks like you are building up the proper writing angst on your bus ride. If it makes you feel any better, I read that Joseph Heller wrote Catch 22 on his subway (uh, underground) ride to work every morning at 4 a.m. Perhaps you can make some interesting character sketches of the travelers around you. Or maybe an intoxicant will help.

Good luck!


David Bishop said...

Hey, a real person actually left a comment - as opposed to sneaky advertising fuckers!

I can read on trains but not on buses. So, for last week's journey, I tried watching a DVD on my laptop instead. Nearly puked all over the keyboard.

This week I think I'll try listening to my discman. Note to self: must get an iPod. Further note to self: must earn money to pay for getting an iPod.