I had to take a break around Thanksgiving, because I didn't want to look at another listing or call anybody. Not to mention that taking the bus to all these places can be confusing and time consuming when you don't know the bus routes. With over 150 bus routes, it takes a bit of detective work to figure out which bus you need to be on and where to catch the transfer to the next bus to get to where you need to go. I never really got lost, as I have a map, but figuring out where to go to catch the correct bus you need to get back is a little bit frustrating when you don't know the area at all.
I am learning though. Luckily, Edmonton is laid out in a grid pattern for the most part with numbered streets running North and South, and numbered avenues running East and West. Once I learn where the landmarks are located on this grid, I'll have an easier time. More than once I have gotten on the correct numbered bus, but headed in the wrong direction. West Edm Mall, Southgate, Northgate, Millgate, Downtown, Jasper Place, University, Westmount, Capilano - These are only a fraction of the destinations displayed next to the route numbers on the front of the buses. When you don't know the area, it is not difficult to jump on the correct numbered bus, but headed in the wrong direction. Edmonton buses have a start location and an ending location to their routes. Most turn around at the end of the route and head back to the beginning, but not always.
I'm used to riding buses that run in loops, so jumping on the correct numbered bus will get you where you need to go. It's possible to do the same thing on an Edmonton bus, if the bus changes the destination sign and returns to the beginning of the route, but I have been on more than one bus that changed the bus number to a different route as well the destination, and I was off on a joy ride to an unknown location.
It takes a bit of detective work and a good amount of patience learning the bus system. I get frustrated sometimes, but most of the time I just wonder where I'm going to end up today and what new things I will discover.