|So now in the last lesson, we’ve made sure the bus that you are about to get on to is the right bus. Now probably one of the most complicated parts of the whole bus system, getting on the bus. Getting on the bus itself can be a challenge, just the physical act of stepping on the bus. Sometimes the buses are so crowded that you just need to hold on to the person in front of his coat until the door closes and that holds you inside the bus. In China, it’s totally acceptable to push your way on to the bus. It’s just something that everybody recognizes as part of life. There aren’t very many spaces on the bus. Everybody obviously needs to get on and so as many people as possible are going to push their way in. People will be hanging on to the side of the bus as it’s going off while the doors are closing and finally pushing them into the bus. Now let’s say you’ve managed to get over this hurdle and you’ve managed to retain some of your dignity, what do you do? There will be someone on the bus whose job it is to sell bus tickets. More and more in China, this is becoming electronic. People can buy cards, they give them discounts and they just sort of wave the card in front of the censor and this gets them on to the bus, however you are not going to have one of these. In fact, even this system is dependent upon somebody on the bus watching to make sure that everybody waved their card in front of the censor. There is always at least one person sometimes two other people on the bus in addition to the driver that are there for the purpose of ticket selling, okay. These people will be stationed at intervals throughout the bus and when you get on, you are expected to buy a ticket as soon as possible. Now as soon as possible might be a while if the bus is really, really crowded and you might end up buying the ticket as you get off but it’s good policy to try and buy that ticket as soon as you are within arm’s reach of this woman because later on, you might not be able to reach her. When it comes time to buy your ticket, you tell the person selling the tickets where you are going. This person may or may not ask you where you are going. They will always ask other Chinese people where they are going. They will say 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) This means arrive at where 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) but as we talked about before, 到(dào) is often used to be going to or is often translated as going to. So 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) fourth tone, falling tone and then third tone, falling rising tone 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) and it means where are you going. In response to this, you say 到(dào) whatever place you are going to or you can simply reply whichever stop it is you want to get off at. So if you want to get off at Beijing station, you say 北京站(Běijīng zhàn) or you can say 到北京站(Dào Běijīng zhàn.). So remember, fourth tone 到北京站(Dào Běijīng zhàn.) third tone, first tone, fourth tone 到北京站(Dào Běijīng zhàn.) or just simply北京站(Běijīng zhàn) After this, she will tell you how much it costs and this will almost always be accompanied by a hand signal. So you don’t need to be too advanced in your Chinese skill to understand what’s going on but it might be nice to understand what she says. She will say something along the lines of 一块(yī kuài) which means one quay. Quay is the casual way of referring to the Renminbi or the RMB. So she will say either 一块(yī kuài) or maybe 两块(liǎng kuài) which means two quay. Buses are more expensive if a) they are air-conditioned b) you are going a long distance or c) they are an express bus but however it is very rare that you will ever get a bus ticket that goes above 五块(wǔ kuài) or 5 quay. In fact, in all my time in China, I’ve never had a bus ticket above 4 quay 四块(sì kuài) and if you think about it, usually a bus never costs more than $0.25 whereas taxis can easily run you a few bucks. So you get on the bus, you push your way in and you maybe use that sorry we talked about before 对不起 (Duì bu qǐ.) because you stepped on 3 or 4 toes maybe 10 or 12 toes and now you are on the bus and this woman is reaching across to you and she says 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) and you say 到北京站(Dào Běijīng zhàn.) and she says 一块(yī kuài) and you give her your 1 quay. So did you get that? Let’s go over what it meant. She said 到哪儿(Dào nǎr?) and that was, where are you going and you said 到北京站(Dào Běijīng zhàn.) and that means, I am going to Beijing station and she said 一块(yī kuài) which means 1 quay and that’s why you got out your money.