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VIDEO: Twenty Four Hours in Beijing Part I

I woke up on Friday in an incredible amount of pain. My ankle, which I injured the night before during a particularly vigorous game of trampoline-dodgeball, had swollen the point that it looked like a bruised potato with toes dangling off.

Even the slight pressure of my blankets sent rushes of pain through my foot. I tried to get out of bed, failed amid a cloud of expletives, and got back in bed where I tried to fight off the pain by gritting my teeth and growling.

This was the day I was supposed to go to Tokyo by way of Beijing, where I had a twenty-four hour layover. As much as I had been looking forward to this trip, it occurred to me that I might not be physically capable of making it to the airport.

The Bus Stop Culture

On Flower Power

I love taking the bus. It’s cheap, gets you to places and “car”-pooling is generally better for our environment. I’ve taken the bus in cities such as Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Paris, Honolulu, Montego Bay, West Haven and other places. Bus rides always promise an adventure whether it’s about fellow riders or the driver himself. But that’s just half the quest, which begins, at the bus stop.

I found out that Brazil has the most bus riders with an astonishing 85% of its citizens using it daily. Last summer a revolutionary act broke out in the country due to an increase of fares in addition to issues that arose from building the World Cup Stadium there.

Los Angeles ranked second in best public transit systems in the U.S. and I understand why. Schedules were printed at every bus stop, they were on time and there were many stops in general. It was easy to use and utterly convenient. Hawaii was also ranked in the Top 10 for probably the same reasons PLUS the app that was convenient in searching for what bus to use.

As mundane as it sounds, bus stops are full of life. It’s where the homeless find shelter at night, regulars cross paths during rush hour and people share frustrations about the reliability and timeliness of the public transit system. I would like to share some stories about making use of the public transit and its stops.

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