The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Leaving the driving to us, indeed.

So this weekend I'm heading home to Philly for some fun and catching up with friends. Getting from New York City to Philly is always a pain in the ass. That was, until I discovered Greyhound.

The beauty of Greyhound is they always fill the bus so it's unlikely you'll have two seats to yourself. And let me tell you, that bus fills up with quite the cornucopia of passengers. One time, while waiting for the bus to leave, I was shaken out of my day dreaming to hear "I ain't gotta move over. I ain't here to treat you nice! This is Greyhound and I'm a big girl. So sit down, bitch, or keep it moving." Ah, the sweet sounds of ghetto transit.

There was the time that I sat next to an incredibly, uh, voluptuous woman. The entire ride she prayed out loud on her rosary beads when she was awake, and snored and oozed into my seat when she was not.

There was the time I sat across from a guy I overheard trying to force a little Jesus on his seatmate. Then he spotted me. I had my headphones on and I was reading a book. Apparently that stance says "Hey! Talk to me! I have nothing to do!" Then he told me I look like his cousin Marisol. Obviously a Russian like myself. Then he asked if I spoke any Spanish. Then he offered me a bible as he had a spare. Then I went to the bathroom for 20 minutes and held my breath: it was better taking in toxic fumes then a conversation that painful.

Of course, sometimes it can be a delightful investment. That however, is so rare that when it does happen, you spend half the conversation telling your seatmate, "I'm so glad you're not a weirdo." I sat next to a lovely guy named Gary, and we spent the entire ride chatting about dating, racial relations, and relaying funny stories from our past. I was almost sad to get off the bus.

But for the 1 in 50 wonderful chats you have on the bus, there is more often the freak. I sat next to a large Italian guy named Sal once. Apparently he'd spent the weekend at a Large Encounters convention. What is a Large Encounters convention? Oh, it's a group of lovely plus-size ladies and the dudes that dig them. Sal was not a chubby chaser, he told me, but he friend was so he went along for the ride. "Those girls are a good time. I mean, I wouldn't date them but they're good entertainment." Ever the feminist. Then somehow he began telling me about his ex-fiancée and how his relationship went awry. This was about the point where I'd had enough of Sal. Then the air conditioning cut out and we got stuck in traffic.

Oh, Greyhound. Their slogan should be "pay for the seat, but the entertainment's free."


Blogger micah said...

You are a braver woman than I am. Scuba Diving, SkyDiving, the Bronx — no problem! But I'll overpay for the slow train before taking a bus…

4:18 PM


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