While my most recent adventure on Greyhound (the bus service) was not nearly as dire as my last, which I will summarize in a second, it was still one worth mentioning.
I hold perilously low standards for Greyhound, and here’s why: Three years ago, little ole’ me was making my way up to Cincinnati, OH from Washington, D.C., and I’m pretty sure that whatever can go wrong on a bus did go wrong on that trip. I’m not speaking of the old man who disregarded the bathroom announcement to try and hold “number 2″, but instead I’m referring to the entity that is Greyhound itself. In addition to the aggravating delays and slow travel that bore late arrival, this two transfer trip (that’s three buses, just so you know) included a three hour detour in I think PA where we got lost, several near crashes (much honking was involved, and one of the buses caught on fire, resulting in a quick evacuation (we had to ride 4 hours back to our place of origin so the driver could take a drug and alcohol test).
One might therefore question my judgment when it comes to choosing Greyhound as my mode of transport for long distances. But here’s my argument: if flaming vehicles was a common occurrence for Greyhound, I doubt that they’d be in business still.
SO, optimistic as ever, I decided that I would bus up to Detroit, MI to drop my visa application off at the Italian Consulate…Things were havoc.
With a ticked that promised a 1:45am departure, I stood in line with others. Not having luggage to hold my place, I politely stepped behind the trail of baggage and towards the end of the line…and what a mistake. An earlier bus had to reboard onto the express bus to Detroit because the heat was broken, and so the driver had to prioritize his passengers based on the reason for their travel (sick son, I’ve a health appointment, etc). Long story short, despite my having been, by this time, somewhere in the middle-ish of the long line, I ended up being one of two people who were left behind because “I’m sorry, we just don’t have enough room”. I was, however given the option to wait for 5 hours in the station, until the next bus came. Needless to say, I eventually made it to the Detroit after almost missing the next “too full” bus that left for MI (I barged in front of about a dozen people and shoved my ticket at the driver, who, bless his heart, was trying so hard to fit as many people on the bus as possible, that one lady was sitting on the steps) and after having spent 2 hours outside at a gas station while the driver tried to figure out how to refuel her means of income. I reached the consulate, did my business, and returned to the station to depart once more for Cincinnati, where I stepped right in front of the line of the people-less baggage, and stood in line for the full hour until it was time to board. The ride back was uneventful, making it an event worthy of celebration.