Friday, 13 July 2012

Mr. Newmans and his walk shorts

Went to catch a Greyhound bus yesterday from New York to Boston for my next interview, in an attempt to save money.

Couldn't print out my ticket online so took the reference no. (as suggested). I arrive at the bus station, my bags carefully weighed and packed (weight, size, and piece restriction - not going to get caught again!) but still heavy and I have to haul them up steps to get inside. Ask where Greyhound buses are; told to go down one floor. Go down one floor to be told to wait at the gate. Where are the gates? - one floor down. Go down one more floor and wait in a line at the designated gate (like a sheep) for about half an hour. Lady calls out seat numbers to board. I say I don't have a ticket with a seat number, so she says go to the information desk to see if they can print one out, At the information desk I am told I have to go up one floor to the ticketing desk. I say it's 10 minutes till the bus leaves; will I have time? Without looking at me, she says grumpily, "you can if you go print it out". (this happens a lot in NY - grumpy and no eye contact. Then if you question them, they just repeat themselves, as many times as you want, or however long you keep standing there).

I go back up one floor to the ticketing desk and wait in line to print out my ticket at a kiosk. Person in front is having trouble. I try and same thing; twice for good measure. I wait in line for another kiosk and this time it works. Go upstairs and ask a lady if my bus has gone. She says yes, but maybe I can go on standby for the next one (an hour later). I go to the gate and tell another lady I have missed the bus, can I get on the next one? She says I can get on the original one, its ok, it was late anyway. Somebody throws my bags on without weighing and checking and I take the one remaining seat.

Once on, I start to remember: when I was younger and I used to catch the Newmans bus in Takapau or Waipukurau in the country somewhere. I'd wait by the side of the road with one of my aunties, and they would give me a big kiss and the bus driver would jump down in his walk shorts and a tie and tick off my name written on a list in pencil, attached to a clipboard. I would get on.

It was all just a bit simpler, back there, and then.

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