Prague is uncomfortably hot in July and August, making its inhabitants looking for a way out in those months. I had finished a trip to Silesia in the northeastern part of the country ending up in in the castle at Hradec nad Moravicí.
When it was time to return home I was running late, and looked up which connections I was to take, found a bus would leave at 18:12, which I just should be able to make. There was a map of the village and surroundings I took a photo of and started my forced march towards the bus stop, largely through a forest trail. Sure I could use a map service, a few sort of work with Opera Mini, but the response time and the zooming works a lot better with a picture. 18:10 I got to the bus stop and then I realised I didn’t know in which direction the bus was supposed to be going and I had forgotten where the bus was going to. I had done my search on my laptop, not my phone, and there was no chance it could start up from hibernation in two minutes or anything close. All I knew was the departure time, which made for curious conversations with the driver.
— Is this bus supposed to leave at 18:12?
— No, I am running a little late, I’m supposed to leave at 18:05
— Thank you, then I’m not interested
Running across the street to catch the next bus in the opposite direction, I got second in line after a woman and her friend, and overheard her conversation with the driver:
— Is this the 18:12 to Přerov, there’s not another bus going there?
— Yes, it is. I’m just a little ahead of schedule
— All right, then. I’ll have a ticket
My turn. Having just finished T9ing “Hradec nad Moravici” and “Praha” I still didn’t know what stop I was supposed to get off the bus at. Together with the lady and the driver we came to the most likely one. She too was going to Prague, and had looked up the route on the Web. I realised I had turned into an Internet package that was blindly following a route some server had determined traffic from Hradec nad Moravicí to Prague should use. Like that package I knew my final destination, but had no idea how to get there, being dependent on good routers on the way.
Or getting my laptop and phone to respond, so after some minutes I knew that I was on the right bus travelling in the right direction (most travellers to Prague would return in the opposite direction, the one I was coming from), and that I was going off a little earlier at the stop U Žida in Bělotín. That was close to the railway station where a local train would allow me to intercept an international train going to Prague. The 19 minutes interval were ample time to handle the couple minutes bus delay get to the station, realise the ticket sale was closed, return to the motorest U Žida, get a refreshing :beer:, go back and cross the rails to the right platform, get berated by the loudspeakers from the unmanned station for not using the designated and safer underpass, and snap a few pictures. On the train I bought a ticket to Prague and was told that the main train was arriving only a few minutes after this train, which the IDOS site told me was correct, but as it was leaving many minutes later there was no rush anyway.
In the competition laptop vs phone it was a draw. Neither really measured up. Both got me to Prague in time, using a route no humans would have figured out, but neither provided me with the information I needed when I needed it. If the IDOS site had been a little more phone friendly the phone would definitely have won, but I still would have to type fairly long texts which the phone is unsuited for. Combined with geographical positioning I could have gone from “here” to “home” instead. The site tells about known delays for trains (only), but apart from actively monitoring that particular train I wouldn’t know if the delay would cause me to miss a train nor would I be given a different route from there if it did. Such updates would favour phones.