The above picture is of a bus stop, in case you couldn't tell. A typical, well-marked bus stop.
In moving to Sydney, I gave up the privilege of having my own car. Meaning, my only mode of transportation during my time down under is the public bus system. Buses are easy to use, right? I've lived in the heart of Seattle for the past four years, I know how to use public busses.
Upon arriving, I quickly found the need for a working phone. The closest mall is too far to walk, so it was time to make my bus debut. I looked up directions to where I needed to go, wrote them down on notebook paper (since I didn't have a working phone at this point), and head out!
I spent the next 20 minutes looking for the bus stop.
It was literally, NOWHERE to be found. I double checked that I was on the right street, which I was, and continued searching. A few minutes later, I noticed a small yellow sticker on one of the telephone poles labeled, "BUS STOP". Oh, and did I mention that the pole was in the middle of someone's front yard? Needless to say, bus stop set-ups are NOT universal.
With the bus stop located, I continued to wait another 20 or so minutes until a bus finally showed up. I boarded and then, with my very American accent, double checked with the driver to make sure that I was, in fact, on the correct bus. He proceeded to inform me that the bus I needed would pick me up on the OTHER side of the road. Because the roads are opposite in Australia. Duh.
Another 15 minutes and the correct bus showed up. On the correct side of the road.
I made it to my destination, purchased a working phone (with access to maps and GPS), and somewhat more successfully found my way back home.
Cheers to you, Australia and the beginning of an exciting relationship.