Late Wednesday 05.01.2011 and Thursday 06.01.2011
After our first experience on Greyhound from NY to DC, I was a little less spooked than at first. However, after about two hours of the journey from Washington DC to Nashville Tennessee, my former expectations of Greyhound all but came true.
The bus driver stopped the bus and was letting passengers off, about two hours outside of DC. He placed a tick on his list for every person who got off. After a few minutes, he announced to the bus through his radio that there was still another passenger due to get off the bus. This sweet southern man, with his drawl, grey hair and cheeky jokes (something from a KFC commercial), quickly morphed into something with firey anger and voice akin to what one would picture King Trident to display.
“THERE IS STILL ANOTHER PERSON ON THIS BUS WHO SHOULD BE GETTING OFF. DON’T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE, NOW. BY GOD, I WILL FORCE YOU OFF THIS BUS!”
After a few seconds of silence, he stomped down the bus aisle, giving everyone a stiff glare, one by one. At this point, I was feeling rather confused and a bit sheepish. I had just woken from a fitful sleep; my nose and throat were dry and my neck was sore from me sleeping at a ridiculous angle. I am sure that there was a bit of drool on my cheek.
Suddenly, the bus driver started yelling, “GET OFF, GET THE F@%K OFF MY BUS BEFORE I CALL THE POLICE… NAWW, THAT IS JUST NASTY!!”
“What is nasty” you might ask?
Well, the stow-away turned out to be a very large man, who had imbibed pretty much an entire litre of very cheap vodka, that had vomited all over himself. And the floor near his feet. And the back of the seat in front of him. And the passenger sitting in the seat in front of him.
The bus driver violently escorted the gentleman off the bus, warning all the rest of the passengers to sit away from the aisles, as the man was still vomiting. It was at that moment, I cursed myself for sitting in the aisle seat. Dang it. But thankfully, the large man passed, vomit blowing in chunks, all over other passengers, seats and floor, but not on me.
After stumbling past me, toward the stairs of the bus, the man passed out, fell half down the stairs and landed with such a thud that we were shaken in our seats.
He then proceeded to exit the bus, into 4 degree C weather, and took his clothes off. He just stood there with his head against the wall. Poor fella. Gah.
The worst part of it all was the smell. It was a thick sour smell that lasted the next few hours of the trip, even though the bus had been cleaned by the driver.
After having a change over in some nondescript town, at some ungodly hour of the morning, the next bus trip (the last leg of our journey to Nashville) saw one of our mobile phones stolen. We weren’t having much luck with this bus thing. But at least now we have something to write home about. Right?
We arrived in at Nashville at 9am, and feeling slightly depressed (Greyhound will do that to you), we decided to send our next host, Oscar, a message to let him know we had arrived in Nashville. We had planned to catch a cab to his house. In about 12 seconds we received a reply saying that he would be there soon to pick us up.
WHAT IS WITH THESE NICE PEOPLE?!! Seriously… I am still being surprised at the kindness of strangers. It is so great.
Oscar arrived at the Greyhound terminal shortly, with wooley and wild hair, a half smoked hand-rolled cigarette in hand and a warm smile on his face. This picked up our spirits immensely.
Oscar then took us to what I call ‘postgreyhoundheaven’, or ‘Waffle House’ as some of the locals here call it. After not having eaten in about 22 hours, I was more than ready to munch on some grindage and to half drown myself in bottomless diner coffee. Oscar is great. A musician, intellectual, funny, cultured, (this is beginning to sound like a personals ad). Dana and I were immediately happy to be staying with him.
After Waffle House, Oscar took us back to his house to chill out for a while, and to meet his housemate, Chris. Also musician, intellectual, etc. etc. These guys are great. Their house is more like a pseudo recording studio. With wires, amps, and instruments all over, and mattresses up against the window in the kitchen to provide a buffer for the drums.
Oscar hoarding fixing things…
After hanging about and chatting for a while, Oscar and Chris took Dana and I to Phonoluxe – a used record store. Dana was in ‘danaheaven’. He was at once turned into that squealing, excited seven year old. He wandered the store, gently turning through piles of dusty records, eyes wide. At moments like these, he is happy. I love seeing him like this.
We finished the day back at Oscar and Chris’ house. Oscar made us a refired bean and cheese toasted sandwich, and I settled into our livingroom bed with my X men graphic novel (Errol, I know you’ll be proud).