Being someone who rarely ventures outside of Manhattan and has very limited experience of the U.S. outside of New York, with the exception of some major cities such as Boston, Seattle, Philly etc, I am constantly reminded by my boyfriend that I have not seen "the real America". Even after my road trip last week, I'm still not sure I can claim otherwise... but if not anything else, I did indeed have "the real Greyhound experience" - for better or for worse.
My itinerary: New York to Raleigh, NC, via Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA.... and back within the next 12 hours. See below for some random observations I made during this journey.
First disturbing observation: the Greyhound station in Richmond (below) offers soda, candy, chips and cheetos.... but no coffee. At 9:30 in the morning. People don't drink coffee in the real America?
Also below: my fellow bus travelers lining up to snag all the window seats. Why do people insist on getting a window seat, unless they're actually able to sit still for the upcoming three hours? Getting up and down, up and down, running to the bathroom, poking around in your luggage on the shelf above the seats, making the person next to you stand up, move their legs to the side, and interrupt their sleep about 10 million times is not cool. If you're an ADD sufferer, deal with it and pick an aisle seat!
Speaking of seats...
I must be dumb. I thought the seats with extra legroom were for... us people with long legs? Apparently they're for ghetto moms bringing 10 tons of shit on the bus and feeding their babies Cheetos and supersize Orange Fanta, simultanelously screaming on their cell phones for 4 hours straight. My bad!
You didn't think your bus will leave at 11:30pm just because it says so on the (prepaid) ticket, right?
Waiting in Raleigh.
And waiting... 2 hours later.
Pillows are good! Skip the Cheetos and instead bring your own pillow to snuggle with! Also, it proved to be great for blocking out the stench from the KFC fried chicken with accoutrements that the majority of my fellow passengers picked up for breakfast (I kid you not) in Baltimore.
Let's just say the black coffee and fresh cinnamon raisin bagel I got for breakfast from a street vendor, immediately after getting off the bus at Port Authority Friday morning, never tasted so well before... nothing makes you appreciate New York as being away from New York. Even if it's just for 24 hours!