I am probably the only student in Wageningen that doesn’t have a bike. I prefer to walk and take the bus, as is my habit back home in Greece. Bus transportation in itself is therefore not new to me. Still, you are in for a unique experience once you board a Dutch bus...
Illustration: Henk van Ruitenbeek
I'm going to describe you a typical Dutch bus journey for you. To begin with, there are no strikes, there are no cancelled routes, the bus is always on time. You arrive at a bus station or stop and you wait patiently in line to board in the bus. People are not jostled up against each other.
When you go inside, you scan your ov-chipcard in the yellow machine. And – here comes the part where you have to pay attention! – you must say good morning/afternoon/evening to the driver. In return, he will say hello to you. It is worse than a crime to board the bus without saying hello to the driver.
During the short trip (maximum duration about 10 minutes), a lot of Dutch people eat. The first time I saw this, I thought it was really strange, but then I observed that there are small rubbish bins in the bus to throw your trash in, so obviously it is not prohibited to eat on public transport. When you arrive at your destination, you scan your public transport pass again (be careful: if you forget you will pay more) and of course, you say goodbye to the driver. If you ask me, buses in the Netherlands are the best means of transport that I have ever taken.
Georgia Chatonidi, MSc student of Food Technology, from Greece
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