The first bus is free

Another day, another country, another language, another currency!!

It’s time to take public transport, bus, tram or metro. The bank notes from the ATM are too large to buy a bus ticket so you may go to a store and buy a cake or something to get change. At the metro there are probably barriers and inspectors, so the challenge is to buy the ticket from a machine, or you chicken out and go to the ticket counter and hope someone speaks your language.

But I observed locals in Warsaw just jumping over the turn-style entrance. And then did you choose the correct platform?

But bus and tram are often different. I recall getting on a bus outside a campsite to go into Venice. I could not buy a ticket on the bus, so the ride was free. I was willing to buy a ticket, but I was a tourist and I did not know the system. In Prague some bus and tram stops have ticket machines, and some don’t, and if you managed to buy a ticket, for the correct duration, you’ve got to remember to validate it at the machine. If not, you have a ticket good for the next ride, and you can try again. The validation machines don’t always work or if the ticket is put in the wrong way, it seems like you have another free ride.

Some tobacconists sell bus tickets, and rarely speak your language.

In your innocence you do of course run the risk of being caught by an inspector for having no ticket, or an invalidated ticket, then you hope the inspector will be lenient – sometimes they are if you are polite and apologetic.