Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the road...

Okay, here's something I've always wanted to do - blog while moving. Yup blog while in transit and so have I fulfilled one of those goals right here and now. As I thee write, I'm chinatown busing it from Philly to NYC. I wish I had a pic to show you but I'm so excited about the blogging I can't stop for a second to take a photo my dear pups.

So, as each year has passed since graduating college I've become increasingly cautious and prone to worry. Thus, I became less and less likely to take such things as transportation that is probably run without insurance. However, being away from my day-to-day routine takes me out of the cycle of worry and thus when my dear pal suggested taking the C-town bus because it was quicker and cheaper than the alternative Greyhound, I didn't really hesitate. 

We said our quick and half-sorrowful good-bye on the street (we know we'll see each other soon but of course we want to hang out and chat forever- but I have a mere weekend and some partying in NYC to do and she has  play to act in) and so we part. Her boyfriend, whom I've just met, grabs me a cab and off I go.

I thought my cab driver might kill me because he had a tendency to... well, how should I say it? Mmmmm, bark. Yes, he was much the barker. 

"WHERE?!!?!" He growled deeply. 

"11th and Cherry" I bleated. 

"CHERRY?!?!" He growled even more deep and ferocious. 

I really couldn't tell if he was deaf, raging or mean. 

"READY?!?" He boomed, staring straight ahead. 

"yes" I said, very much doubting the truth of my response.

And so we were off. Miraculously I arrived at my destination, which proceeded to perplex me, even if only momentarily. I was on the corner of two streets in Philly's Chinatown, but there didn't appear to be any buses. But soldier on I did once I observed the half Chinese half English sign for the Cherry bus (I laugh here at my soccer mom self, like I've never been by myself in the city before - what is more, like I've ever been a soccer mom before :) 

I go in to buy the ticket but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind the counter in the near empty room with just a few old office chairs strewn about the once white linoleum floor. Suddenly, a Chinese kid about age 15, started asking, "New York" to the few who had gathered inside and just outside the door. "Come on," he said. "We have to go down the street."

No one hesitated, they all just followed. So, I did too. What can you do? Down the sidewalk, behind the building, to the right an open van full of boxes with plastic hanging out, to the left, a parking lot of broken down cars. We keep going up yet another small parking lot behind another set of buildings, and there's a bus at the end - he let me pay once I got on - no big deal. "One way?" He asked and yet also told me. Not sure how he knew I was going one way only...

And, so I'm on the bus. Just a few moments ago, at a gas stop, the driver asked the eight or so of us on this bus, exactly where we are going. And once he took a tally, which at first I think confused everyone, he decided where he was going to stop. I can hear him now yammering away in Chinese on his wireless headset as he protectively delivers us to the city.

This is far better than those Peter Pan bus drivers who used to bark at me in college for bringing a slice of pizza on the bus. No rules about talking on your cell phone, no need to print out your ticket beforehand, or really to even have one at all. I can spread out over two seats (or four if I really wanted - the bus is only 1/8 full - I get free Chinese lessons the whole way there - The couple next to me chatters happily about visiting Ground Zero... it's pretty good. And all this for just ten bucks.


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