While staying in Marshall (helping a friend’s parents paint their house), I received a letter (you remember those things, stamps, envelopes, handwritten messages etc.) from ET in San Jose telling me that he had an idea for making money, and that I should come and visit. Hmmm, a chance to generate an income and a free place to stay…what to do? what to do? Hey I’ve got it, I’ll go visit! So I bid a fond farewell to Mel’s parents and headed West.
By now I had been travelling for about 14 months and the finances were getting a bit slim so, rather than fly across, I decided to take the bus. This was quite enlightening in a number of ways, for a start it taught me the difference between those who could afford to fly and those who couldn’t. (That thing on Ellis Island should be rewritten to say "bring me your huddled, unwashed masses and we’ll put them on a Greyhound bus so that we don’t have to look at them").
Coming from Australia, it was the signs of poverty that really got my attention. Funny, there is abject poverty in much of the sub-continent (that’s India, Pakistan and South East Asia), but because nearly everyone is poor, it doesn’t stand out so much. To see it in an affluent country is really something else again. Anyway, enough of the soapbox (the contents of which I doubt many of my fellow passengers had ever seen).
The bus left from Miami and at this stage I was full of excitement at the prospect of seeing America’s heartland from, what I initially thought, a nice comfy seat. And best of all, I had no-one sitting next to me. I can’t remember exactly how long the trip takes, but I know I’ve driven from New York to Los Angeles and that took from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday mid-day with MDW and I taking turns at driving ande only stopping for gas and food. I do remember that the bus also stopped for food, and that it seemed to stay longer than we did when we drove, at one point we waited 5 hours while they fixed something. Plus I broke the journey in Arizona (but that’s for another episode).
Another interesting thing I discovered was that it was the same bus all the way, in fact one of the drivers explained that Greyhound actually made the buses, and that they drove them for 2 million miles and then retired them, mind boggling stuff eh?
Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Oh shit, wait a minute, this is as much as I normally write in one post, so I guess you’ll have to come back later. If you feel ripped off, or if you are still wondering who ET is, you can click the link for a bonus post.
Filed under: Serials |