Sunday, November 9, 2008

Greyhounds bite

A few days ago, I had a decision to make. I wanted to go to Denver from Salt Lake City. I could either take an Amtrak train or a Greyhound bus. It was then that I made what may be the stupidest decision of my life. I took the bus.

I took a train from U of I to Chicago a bit ago. It was really nice. The ride was smooth. There was tons of space. I think I remember being irritated that someone was talking on their cell phone, but having electric outlets for every seat made up for any complaints I had. I just busted out the laptop and chilled for a few hours.

Riding greyhound really makes me lose faith in humanity a bit. If you ever feel like you're too high on a high horse because being a human entitles you to intelligence and dignity, ride a Greyhound bus. It's like a collection of the oddest and strangest people in our country. This is unexpected, because it's not cheap. It costs the same as Amtrak and for long distances it's roughly the same as flight. Yet they congregate there on the busses, the circus of mankind.

Putting the passengers aside, even the organisation itself is just... not organised. Every single bus I've ever taken with Greyhound has been late, usually by over an hour. I assumed that an overnight bus that lasts ten hours would have a "sleeping" theme. You know, maybe low on announcements, not a stop every hour that wakes you up with lights for fifteen minutes. A bus transfer to a delayed bus at two in the morning, being forced to stand in the cold while rude busdrivers yell at you, watching the same bus driver get cussed out by a drunk peer and watching him get chased away by a police car is probably not something that would fit a "sleeping" themed bus.

But you learn from your mistakes, right? About five years ago, I traveled with Greyhound through Florida and told myself I'd never ride with them again. However, after using the bus systems in China and India, I thought I'd been hardened to bad bus systems. I guess putting it in perspective it doesn't sound so bad. No one was smoking next to me and I didn't have a steady stream of exhaust filtering in through my window on Greyhound. But the busses in China and India came out to be about five to ten dollars, not seventy-eight.

Next time I'll take Amtrak.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should grow up and rent a car.

Book Look Column Author said...

The way blogs work is, yes you comment on your sister's blog, but you also update yours! Where is the end of the greyhound story? Pictures of Denver would be nice.