Okay, so I didn't write an "Adventures on Greyhound" part I, but you'll live, dammit!
I didn't have to get on a bus 'til just after noon, so it surprises me that I got up fairly early. (Well, the smoke detector in my room decided to whine plaintively with a single "blip" about ten times until I got up, so I guess it needs batteries.) I was dressed, had my e-mail checked, and had eaten some of Chris's chocolate dessert stick things (what the hell ARE those called??) and was back in my room before Ronni was up, so when I came out I kinda surprised her as she was planning to come in there soon to wake me up! She checked her e-mail, and before I left she managed to find time to show me Karaoke Revolution. I had wanted to play against her friend Kelly, who was supposed to come and pit her singing skills against mine, but Kelly never came over. Ronni claims I would have plugged her, though. Even though my voice was all sick-as-a-dog-sounding. Blech. I got a Platinum Record one time, whatever that means.
Ronni got her little boy up and we went to the station. It was sad. She and her husband kept asking me if I wanted to stay another week. Hehehe. Sorry, I have to go back to work or I don't have a job . . . and though it's tempting, I have a feeling becoming baking-lady/housekeeper would get old real fast. . . . So she waited with me and we got lemonade and fries and tried to keep Aidan from going ballistic when he saw the M&M machine.
At one point this weird lady with the HUGEST cross necklace I've EVER seen wandered over to us to give us prayer sheet thingies about healing, and as she was doing so she leaned over me and said, "Ma'am, why are you wearing that five-pointed star around your neck??"
I told her it was an elemental circle, not really wanting to go into it, and she replied, "WELL, it's not OF GOD!!!" I told her it was my interpretation, and I don't remember what she said exactly but she backed off immediately. Ronni was somewhat appalled by that. She said she couldn't imagine just going up to someone and demanding to know why they were wearing a pentacle or anything at all. "You shoulda said 'Why're you wearing that cross?'" she suggested. She congratulated me for keeping my cool, to which I replied that I was used to it. What's ironic is this entire week of interacting with various friends of Ronni's and Chris's who are connected with their church, I didn't hear a WORD about it, and then I go and get tweaked by this lady in a bus station. Goes to show you how SOME people know how they should behave and others do not.
There was a slight fubar with my bags, as I hadn't realized I had to RE tag them for the ride back, so after thinking I'd said bye to Ronni already I ended up back inside and there she was again, and I got to hug her again. I got my bag tags, got on the bus, and had to sit next to someone because it was a really full bus. And this bus stunk. None of the other times had a stinky bus, but this one smelled to high Heaven of B.O. Gross! But my seatmate was really nice--name of Tony--and we hit it off right away, spending the entire time chatting and solving the world's problems. We mostly talked about politics, religion, and dogs.
The cross lady was on MY bus of all places, and Tony said she'd been harassing some guy in line behind her about getting his children baptized. That's a lady who needs to realize her nose belongs on her face and nowhere else. Early into the ride she stood up and started making her way down the aisle asking everyone if they had scissors, because she wanted to cut apart more of her prayer flyers. I happened to have a pair of kiddie scissors and volunteered to let her use them. When I pulled them out she said, "YES, GOD is GOOD!" (Apparently GOD decreed that I like to carry various school supplies with me, so SHE can be so blessed as to be able to cut her flunky flyers.) She took my scissors and patted me on the shoulder and said, "I'm sorry about before, I didn't mean to say that to you." The hell you didn't, lady--but wouldn't you know I forgave her?
We had a rest stop and Tony offered to buy me a pop, but I declined. We waited around and got on the bus again. I nodded off somewhere in there while Tony was talking about dogs, and he said he'd let me sleep and that I could prop my pillow on him and sleep on his shoulder if I wanted. Um, no, but thanks, guy. Then the Mother Theresa lady woke me up just to return my frigging scissors. Thank you! Bleargh.
Tony's stop was in Louisville, which was my transfer, so we got off the bus. I'm kinda sad I didn't give him any way to contact me, but I didn't, and he said he'd had a great time talking and went away. I had to sit in the Louisville station for about two hours because there was like a layover or whatever you call it, so I ate an apple and got a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat from their café, and spent the time writing. Some dude named Darrell stopped by, complimented my clothes, asked me what I was doing and where I was going, and gave me his name and phone number on a luggage ticket. I don't know what he expects me to do with that.
Finally the bus came in. The driver came on the intercom and read off a long list of cities, one of which was Gainesville, but then the instructions as to which gate to go to sounded like "Wazza, de foty sebben do tibble fah-nuff," so I went up to him and told him I didn't understand the announcement and was this my gate. He rolled his eyes at me like I was a jackass and told me this was indeed my gate. What an ass. I ignored him and boarded, quickly securing two seats for myself near the front. w00t! And I got to keep my two seats the whole way. I hate sharing, so I'm glad the only time I had to share was with such a nice guy. I turned my light on and wrote some more, finishing the chapter, reading it over, and changing over to reading Roots. I was almost done when I got really tired and decided to take out my contacts and cut out the light and snooze.
Then we had get out for a rest stop--somewhere in Tennessee. I hopped off and refilled my water bottle in the only place I could find: The women's restroom. All right! Warm, sweet Tennessee bathroom water. Yum! I ate an apple, then got back on the bus and wrote in my daily paper-and-pen journal. In the break, someone had decided to don earphones and then crank up the volume so it was actually audible outside her head. I was kind of annoyed by that and decided I'd better tell the driver. See, most of the drivers had made an announcement specifically saying NOT to do that and the one before this one (who drove us to Louisville) actually said, "If your neighbor can hear it, it's too loud. If *I* can hear it it's *much* too loud. And we WILL ask you to turn it down." So I waited for the driver to return, and when I saw him coming I hopped out to tell him the problem.
"We leavin' now, baby," he said gruffly, "git back on de bus."
"I know," I said, and then told him my problem.
"Well tell 'em to turn it down!" he said in a sneering tone. Thanks a lot, asshole! I could have done it, sure, but I kind of didn't want to go harassing other passengers; making them mind the rules is supposed to be the drivers' job in my opinion. I guess I hadn't noticed that THIS driver hadn't said anything about radios in HIS announcement. He was a dick. It made me unreasonably sad and I went and sulked in my seat. And then I couldn't get MY headphones working properly--the earphones cut out all the time and only work if you find the exact right position, which of course I found two songs before Jeaux's damn cheap-ass batteries failed again. I gave up and went to sleep.
Somewhere around three in the morning we rolled into Atlanta and had to get off for forty-five minutes to clean the bus and pick up more people. I used the time to read and brush my teeth. I put my contacts back in because the station was really big and scary, and I was glad I did because one of the pockets leaked and so one contact was sitting in almost no liquid. It woulda dried out if I'd left it 'til morning, probably. And I had no more liquid with me. So I'd just have to stay up or sleep in them, neither of which option I liked.
At that station, some guy who worked there asked me if my clothes were my "own style" (what else would they be? What was I supposed to say, "No, this is a strict uniform"?). He said he liked them and was talking to me about some Web site I'd never heard of when they called my reboarding number and I had to go. This time one of the boarding passengers was a mom and her kid, and I didn't see them but damn did I hear them. The little girl was making nonsense sounds in a very repetitive fashion, sometimes stuff like "bus-a-bus-a-bus-a-bus," and sometimes recognizable strings like "I'm goin' ta see my daaaaaaa-dy, I'm goin' ta see my daaaaaaaa-dy," like that--no lie, for about fifteen minutes straight, each. The bus started up and she started going, "bye-SEE-ya, bye-SEE-ya." And this was all at the top of her lungs, while I was trying to read Roots again. Mommy has probably long since learned to tune her out, because she made NO attempt to shut her up. And of course Asshole Bus Driver didn't say or do a damn thing despite the fact that it was going on four in the morning and everyone there wanted to sleep or be quiet.
Loud Girl started crying in great wracking sobs for a while, then finally went to sleep. At a random rest stop I saw them get off the bus--and the girl was HUGE, at least six years old and coming up to my chin. From the voice and type of things she'd been saying, I'd thought she was a toddler, and beyond that I could see a Pull-Up plastic pants thing sticking out of her jeans. What the hell? She was a giant baby. I'm thinking something was wrong with her developmentally. Or maybe Mom babies her. Who knows? I went to the potty and some ass kept tugging on the door trying to get in while I was in there. I knocked back but she didn't quit until I came out. Crap.
I fell asleep, and when daylight encroached I read some more Roots and finally finished it. I went to the potty again and yet again some dork started trying to get in the bathroom while I was in there and didn't stop when I knocked back! What's wrong with these people? I went back to my seat and got about halfway through the book Walk Two Moons, but got to Gainesville before I finished. Jeaux was faithfully waiting to pick me up, and he took me to CiCi's and grocery shopping before leaving me to my unpacking. ::sigh:: What a day!
Stopped in for a read... I've done the long bus adventures, and they totally suck. Good for you for not losing your mind while on that bus for so long! Hell, if that would have been me, I would have been completely insane by the time that kid got off the bus- AND I'M A MOM! [Brookelyn'sMommy]
Do you know, people do that "let me in YOUR stall" in public bathrooms? Drives me daft! I don't bother knocking on the door, I just shout "I'm busy!" Lol. I always find it strange how people don't "mean" to say things to people. You can say what you don't mean but you aren't being FORCED to say anything at all! Someone needs to invent telepods, so everyone can travel in peace and quiet. [katqueen]
oof, makes me tired. [Meggie]
Next time you visit, you'll be flown up. NO MORE BUSES ever. :) - R