Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trip to meet my nephew: the bus ride

So, my last blog got cut off because I was writing it on the bus. It was going to go into how there was no eta for the bus but she was positive that the bus would be there by ten and I said something like she was missing a variable in her equation and she told me that I could get my money back and not go at all.
That story was interrupted from my blog because of our bus driver, Curtis.
"Hello, ladies and gentleman and welcome to the greyhound bus to Charlottesville, VA. I am your bus driver Curtis. I a NYC line driver and never done this route before. We will be making stops at x, and x and x along the way* if I miss your stop just holler at me. Again, my name is Curtis."
As Curtis walked back up the bus to take the wheel I looked around to the other wide-eyed passengers, my new friends from the past hour. We had fought to esure peoples transfers together, gone through the drunk dude pissing himself together. We had all foolishly thought that once we were on this bus we'd be on our ways. We collectively decided to just ignore this news by shaking our heads and shrugging.
We drove about dc for about ten minutes before Curtis pulled the bus over and once again walked back to address us. He was sheepishly holding four pieces of paper, "um, would anyone be able to help me with the directions?"
No one said anything. A few people shifted awkwardly in their seats.
"Look, I'm lost already so if someone can just come sit up there and help me with these directions -"
I looked around and saw that no one was volunteering. Mostly because most of them were in the state of shock.
"I'll do it," I said, and I grabbed my iPhone and carry on bag and walked to the front of the bus.
I looked at the paper directions and realized we had two block too far.
" ok, so we need to make a u turn."
"lady, I'm driving a bus, we don't just make u turns."
"ok, um go ahead to the light and make a left into that parking lot and turn around."
"ok you watch for cops cause I'm not really supposed to go in a lot that small."
We sucessfully turn the bus around and I got us headed to what I thought was the right way from the map and direction sheet combo.
As I poured over my gps map on my iPhone and tried to get through a city that I've only had brief relations with when my sister lived there, 15 years ago, I heard a woman's digital voice.
"go straight, at light make left on 3rd street."
"Um, Curtis, do you have a gps navigator your holding out on me?" I asked.
"are you crazy? Hell no!" he said as he tried to mannuevere the bus through traffic.
I turn to the bus and shout, who has a gps?
A Spanish woman holds up her phone, " I do on my phone, but I have to stay with my daughter, here you take."
Now using two gps devices and paper directions I get us on track with what had been written for Curtis to do.
20 minutes later we're out of dc but lost again. The paper directions are written by someone who didn't so much know street names but food chains: at the 2nd right side mcdonalds make a left
As we were about to do our second turn around on this lef of the trip it dawned on me to ask if anyone was getting out at this stop.
"speak now or forever miss your stop!"
No one spoke. I called out the other stops and got at least one or two yeses or hands raised so I made the executive decision that we weren't making the first stop. Now, I know you might be thinkin, but Sue, what of the peolple that might be waiting at that stop. In my mind, I had four people on my bus trying to catch a transfer and those people at the other station were saved from this crazy bus.
...more later

*I don't remember the other three towns names so i'm leaving them out, Curtis did read them off his paper directions.

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