Canada – home of the free… stuff

29 8a

(Our bus stop – a little off-center but working perfectly)

Yesterday Caoimhe and I went to the Mall (pronounced maul.) Although there’s public transport here in Barrie –  a bus service and a train to Toronto – most people take cars. So Caoimhe had never been on the bus (neither had my sister or brother-in-law) but as bus travel is an integral part of every holiday for me, we gave it a go. Barrie is considered a town, but it’s a big town, with a population size similar to Cork city. We would need a map, timetables, directions – we didn’t have any of these…. but we had something else – Doris!

29 8d

(Our map – that’s the lake in blue and the circles with the arrows are the bus number and bus direction – we took number 10 and number 20)

If you’re keeping up with our story you will remember Doris and Bobba? Well, on Monday they had to go for a doctor’s appointment and among the out of date magazines and health promos in the waiting room they discovered a bus map and timetable. We had the tools. (Interesting by the way…. doctors visits are free – yes free! I was beginning to notice a few aches and pains that I could get investigated before we get back to Non-free-land when I was told it was only for residents. Sure I’m fine really.)

29 8b

(A newspaper stand on a suburban street)

Anyway, on Monday night we poured over the map and discovered where we could pick up the bus, how much it would cost (one fixed price $2.85 and that includes transfer to any other bus), what number it would be and which direction it would be going in. By Tuesday at 11am we were ready. We found the stop easily (after a bit of confusion – mine – about which side of the road the traffic drives…. it’s  the right!) and settled down to wait.

29 8c

(A fire hydrant – doesn’t it look a bit like the little bear in Yogi Bear?)

Caoimhe had a book and I had my camera. When the bus came we were ready with our exact change. I had put mine into the little slot and was encouraging Caoimhe to do the same when the nice lady driver said, Tell me she’s in 8th grade. Never one to disobey a person in uniform (and Caoimhe is in 8th grade) I nodded, Yes, she’s in 8th grade. Then she’s free when she’s with you. Yahoo!

Free doctors and free travel, how much better can this get? Mairead.

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