Whirlwinds (Or: Running to the bus stop)

Today’s work day was punctuated by moments of craziness sandwiched between long hours of…relative calm? I knew it would be an interesting day when I came back from donating blood and found out that someone from Kaplan test prep wanted to hold a presentation about the NCLEX nursing exam. That’s the licensing exam for nurses in the U.S.

Due to some miscommunication between them and their nursing student representative, they ended up downstairs in one of our group study rooms… which is designed for about 10 students max. More than 20 showed up and (somehow) squeezed into that room. It was quite impressive but not the ideal place to be. Thankfully the actual presentation was only about 20 minutes, or I would have told them to go back upstairs to the lab.

And then the student I was supposed to see at 5:45 arrived early, so I was able to squeeze in everything we needed to do by 5:55 and then dash outside to catch the 6:19 bus that tends to come at 6:04. I barely made it, but I still made it! It’s the difference between getting home at 6:30 or getting home at 8PM.

That’s one thing I am looking forward to in the Netherlands, though I am sure it’s not that easy everywhere in the country. But I don’t have to worry as much about buses (or trams) which run only on the hour. Though I do have to say that the system I use right now is fairly reliable – In my 2 1/2 years at this job I figure the bus hasn’t shown only 5 or 6 times.

Here is a picture that I took of the inside of a tram (including the swipe pad for your OV chip card). I mentioned it back in this post.

Dutch tram door

On the left side you have the OV chip card machine which says Kaart hier. Like I said, I always forget to check out by swiping my card there before I leave. On the door itself, the pink part says Check uit, or check out. The white lettering on the reverse side of the door warns people that the door opens outward and extends outside (outside = buiten).

The nice thing about trams is you can enter them from any available door. For buses you need to enter by the bus driver, even if you have an OV chip card. And of course there are still people who get in trouble for trying to cheat the system. I am just glad there is no more strippenkaart! I am not sure how much longer that link will work, since the strippenkaart has been phased out completely, I believe.

Categories: Transportation | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Whirlwinds (Or: Running to the bus stop)

  1. I miss the strippenkaart, or, more accurately, I hate the OV chipkaart.

    • It’s mostly because the strippenkaart required me to have a clue where the zones were (which I never did), and I had to talk to the bus driver to tell him which number zone I needed to punch.

      I can be anti-social when I don’t know the language 😉

      Why don’t you like the OV chipkaart?

  2. No more strippenkaat!. No more punching! I’m nostalgic for them already.

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