Monday, July 30, 2007


Today, I am not going to talk about tea. I am going to talk about travel. Travel is one of theose things that can be immensely rewarding, but also incredibly irritating at times.

This weekend, I went to Boston and Maine. The company was wonderful. The area was great. The transit was alternately OK and terrible. The way up to Boston was OK. My friend Natalia and I took a Peter Pan bus, and it went smoothly. The car trip to Maine was dangerously rainy and the number of cars on the road was out of control, but the ride back to Boston was fine. The trip back to NYC was a fiasco. I planned to pick my friend Tajee up from the airport at 4:30. We planned to leave Boston at 9AM on a Peter Pan bus. The travel gods had other plans. We arrived at the local bus station an hour and fifteen minutes in advance. Sold out. Waiting list of 18. We decided to drive 30 minutes to a further station where they should have spots left. Horrible traffic jam. Too late. OK, we thought, we'll take the 9:30. Nonexistant. The 10AM was $30 on Greyhound (we discovered too late that it's only $15 if you book it online), so we decided to take a 10AM Chinatown bus. We knew of their notoriety, but thought it would be OK. We were wrong. An hour outside NYC, a tire flew off of a car and shattered the front window of the bus. The driver waited several miles to pull over (I suspect this was because they have no insurance), then announced that the next bus would pick us up in an hour. Keep in mind that this was a FULL bus. How will we all fit? "They only have 9 passengers." Right... Even if that WERE true, we wouldn't have all been able to fit on. We waited. We wished we had just paid the extra $15 for a reliable bus. There was an attempt by the group to decide who could take the "soon-to-arrive" bus. There was a coup. There was a decision made by someone not present to have the (supposedly) nearly empty bus NOT pick us up. There was a mystical "empty bus" that was 30 minutes away... for several hours. There were rumors of another bus with "some spots" on its way. Talk of a taxi. Quality time at the Micky Dee's and the gas station. More waiting. Finally, Natalia and I got a cab to take us to the Metro North, which we oh-so-narrowly caught (yes!) to find out that there was a huge surcharge for tickets purchased on the train (no...). We rode into Manhattan, and then I took the subway out to my place. I walked home as fast as I could, left my bags in my apartment hallway (which is safe), and took my car to the airport to pick my friend up. Fortunately, her plane was late. All in all, 11 hours of travel. A long day.

In addition to this, the whole trip, I was trying to put the finishing touches on my trip to India (like, you know, FINALLY getting my passport processed, even though I submitted it over 18 weeks ago). Now I am beginning to wonder about travel problems there. India is known for its travel glitches, but surely it can't be worse than today... right?

No comments: