Never take the bus when you can take the train
I usually take the train even though it's a 20 to 30 minute drive to the station with the best service. On Friday though I decided to take the bus because it leaves from the next town. The bus takes a bit longer than the train ride itself. However, if you add in driving to the train station, the trip via train and bus take about the same amount of time.
First thing that was not right - the bus waiting area is permanently closed so I had to wait outside in 12F degree weather. This is because, for some reason known only to the powers that be at the bus company, the bus stops on the side of the building that is furthest away from the parking lot. So I could not wait in my car and dash out to the bus over the unplowed and icy parking lot. There's a Dunkin' Donuts on the parking lot side of the building as well so I would have happily waited there At least at Dunkin' Donuts I could have had a nice hot coffee while waiting. But again that would require running around the entire building on ice to get to the bus after it pulled in. I should not complain too much though. I had considered taking the 7:30 a.m. bus. It was still sitting there broken down when the 9:00 a.m. bus (that I took) left what passes for the terminal.
First thing that I learned - if your bus driver is wearing a short sleeve shirt when it's 12F out, the bus will be incredibly overheated. The bus was so hot, it was nauseating. I removed the clothing I could without being arrested for indecent exposure. In other words I took off my coat. No one was more thankful than I to pull into Port Authority in NYC! I walked in the freezing cold to the Con. I needed the fresh air.
I had an extremely productive day at New York Comic Con. And then the dreaded bus ride home...
Second thing that I learned - if people are told to use their cell phones only for emergency calls, they will use them at will. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do on the ride home was catch some zzzzzzs. So the person behind me gets a call. She tried to be quiet about it but failed. Granted she did not stay on long, but it woke me up. Soon after as I was dozing off again, the person in front of me made a call. He was loud. So loud that the bus driver got on the mic to tell him to get off the phone. Finally I hoped that I might be able to sleep. NO! The woman across from me decided to text up a storm, which would have been fine if her keys were set to make no noise. I know that you can turn that sound off. In her case I believe that she set her keys to make the maximum noise. Sigh. So no sleep.
Third thing that I learned - if your bus driver is wearing a warm coat, the bus will be too cold. I actually had chills on the way home. I needed a blanket. I had not brought one with me.
Fourth thing that I learned - people should not be allowed to eat on buses. The woman behind me brought some sort of salad with her. When she opened the container, the smell was horrid. I've no idea what the meat in that salad was. I do know I never want to encounter it again. Worse however was the lettuce. Iceberg lettuce. She chewed with her mouth open. It was very very noisy. Why not choose a salad with mixed leafy greens? At least those are quiet!
I was ecstatic when the bus trip ended. I couldn't care that I had to walk over ice and snow to get to my quiet car on the other side of the terminal. I will never take the bus again. It's too small a place with no escape, and people are simply too rude. I'm sticking with the train.
Qwill's Qwestion: What's your worst travel experience?