Wednesday, 16 October 2019

E M T - An Overview (1)

But Not The Train Company!
This is now the nationalised** East Midlands Railway and the new name and ecclesiastical purple livery have made such a difference to the travelling experience. But fbb refers to Empresa Municipal De Transports Públics De Tarragona. fbb's  lorry driving Sheffield chum David is there on holiday.

For those unfamiliar with the geography of the Iberian Peninsular, Tarragona is in Spain, on the Mediterranean coast, west of Barcelona and close-ish to France.
Tarragona has a selection of antiquities including (outside the town) a splendid Roman Aqueduct ...
... and, nearer the centre and substantial amphitheatre.
And some nice beaches which, presumably, David was enjoying/!

But fbb was struggling with the language. (OK, many of the web sites offered English versions, but it is much more fun to go native, if you can).

Therein lies a tale.

After the demise of the Great Britain Bus Timetable, fbb returned to supply teaching and found himself one fine day at Isle of Wight's Carisbrooke High School .
It is now Carisbrooke College, by the way, which, as with East Midlands Trains/Railway, makes a huge difference!

Way back then, he was asked which subjects he was happy to "teach" and included GCE French in his response - if absolutely necessary.

Embarrassingly, he man in charge chose to interpret this as a supply teacher who was a modern languages specialist - which fbb most definitiely wasn't and isn't.

So your author end up with a year 9 Spanish Class. The only thing that fbb knew about Spanish was this questions started with an upside down question mark and finished with a traditional right way up symbol.

¿Quién es el tipo gordo del autobús?

So, after a profuse apology to the class (who showed the usual highly focused apathy of today's school pupils) it was "turn to the next chapter in your textbooks" and hope, prayerfully that something educational might emerge from the incompetence. And the title of the next chapter was ...

Autobuses en Málaga

fbb assumes that the map, timetables and instructions had been simplified for (a) 13 year olds and (b) supply teachers!
Not only did fbb get through the lesson but he went home a created a worksheet for the little kiddies to tackle the next day.

The second lesson went well and fbb retired, exhausted but reasonably content to the staffroom for a cuppa. A few days later the errant pedagogue of year 9 Spanish returned and accosted fbb in the staffroom.

"I don't know what you did to them," he muttered grumpily as fbb began a grovelling defence of his paltry efforts, "but they want you to take them for Spanish all the time!".

Readers may draw their own conclusions!

But the E M T web site was odd.
It slowly dawned on the old man that this was NOT Spanish; it was NOT Portuguese (well, it wouldn't be) so it had to be Catalan!

Readers may amuse themselves with this little comparison test!
Apologies for any bludners (errores : erros : errors i.e. that No 3 shouldn't be there)!

The laptop web site and phone web site seem to be slightly different so these blogs will be referring to a mixture. The phone index is shown in part above and, again, using the guesso system of linguistics a couple of these headings are understandable. The picture helps!
And this sweet little cartoon is almost self explanatory.
Town services come together at Plaça de la Imperial Tàrraco ...
The bus station is also at the same roundabout.
There is a main entrance through the hotel ...
... where you will find the main circulating area. Chum David sent three pictures as a taster of the town's bus service; all three from the bus station's main concourse.
There were ticket machines and a ticket office but, according to David, no sign pf any printed material. Not the steps down to a subway which leads to the far platform of departures thus avoiding crossing the path of the buses. All David saw was two display frames containing some rather scruffy and un-coordinated timetable sheets ...
... very much like some UK departure points!

Tomorrow, then, a review of the E M T town services plus something about rail connections.

 Next E M T blog : Thursday 17th October 


  1. Andrew Kleissner16 October 2019 at 07:01

    I don't know who compiled your Spanish/Portuguese?Catalan list of words, but the Portuguese in it is definitely the Brazilian version! In the European kind, a bus is an "autobus", a stop is a "paragem" and a route is a "carreira". Trust me - I've lived in Lisbon (which has a very interesting public network, see for 18 months, although it was a long time ago!

  2. I agree with Andrew. Google Translate uses Brazilian Portuguese - typical Americans. Microsoft Word offers both European and Brazilian spell checking. I have only holidayed in Madeira which speaks Portuguese. The following link used some of the words and it is part in English anyway.

    In Catalan it is annoying that all the days of the week start with a D. Strip off the Di and then try reading it again.

  3. Andrew Kleissner16 October 2019 at 13:55

    Fbb would be horrified with Horarios de Funchal (which I have used) as it only gives departure times from terminals and no intermediate or running times. No problem for the town services which are relatively short (and in some cases quite "hairy") - but I couldn't make head or tail of country route 81, eventually we took a tourist bus! Incidentally it does seem odd to have a bus company called "Timetables"!