Gazing out the bus window at 5 a.m. the stars were bright and the words, “The stars must be in alignment,” came to mind. This was the case on my return trip from New York City to Goldsboro. The bus left promptly at 8 p.m. I received a seat in the front of the bus with a pleasant yet not chatty seat mate who was thin. The seat cell phone charger did not work but the driver found another port and a new cable for charging. The gal who threatened me on the way to New York sat near me, and when I glanced at her she moved to the back of the bus. These were good signs.
The bus rolled slowly as it moved out of the City. It was a beautiful night as we rode and once through Holland Tunnel all on the bus were quiet except for one babe chatting up her man. While she talked quietly everyone on the bus heard the entire conversation. I shifted in my seat bumping my seat mate however I did not hear her scream, “Don’t you touch me, bitch!” Another good sign, this was sign two and things happen in threes.
The gal continued to sweet talk her boyfriend or baby daddy. In my mind I thought this could not continue much longer. An hour later I heard curse words and a quick hang up. In my head I thought, “Bitch you should have stopped when you were ahead.” Gosh, I’m getting the lingo.
I once again shifted in my seat and fell asleep at the conclusion of the phone call waking at 5 a.m. I had 6 hours of sleep and the bus was an hour from Goldsboro. Yes, the stars were in alignment on the return trip. Was China Bus redeemed? The answer is still pending.
Every night at 10:30 p.m. the China Bus leaves from the Goldsboro Walmart parking lot on route to New York City. (Well, tonight it was 11:15, but who is counting?). This was my new adventure and adventure it was, read on.
While I had the appropriate paperwork and identification it took the driver over 5 minutes to allow me on the bus. Once on the bus I feasted on unusual smells and a dirty vehicle with surprisingly comfortable seats and adequate leg room. Around me were loudly speaking passengers with their music the same. This is not what I was told the bus ride would be like as former passengers told me to bring a pillow as it was a good sleep.
This noise factor continued the entire journey. I politely asked a passenger to shut off her music and was threatened. This caused my seat mate to ask me to find another seat. Then at 2 a.m. the bus driver began talking loudly in Chinese on his cell phone and smoking. This continued till we left the bus at 10 a.m. He also spat several times on the bus floor.
When I attempted to speak with the bus driver he said he spoke no English. Funny as when he took my ticket he did. However, I have often known this to be the case with Asians -they only know English in business or financial transactions.
Our first stop was Sandy Creek, Virginia. What an impressive truck stop, with clean bathrooms and many amenities. See pictures below.
After this was another stop, however not as impressive as Sandy Creek. I also picked up trucking newspapers while at Sandy Creek where I read about women working in this industry, rigid safety controls, and fuel economy. Fascinating.
I digress.. To accommodate my seat mate I located a seat closer to the front of the bus. As I sat a young man turned and smiled at me. I knew in the smile he was going to inform me of the China Bus Rules. I said, “You never say anything to anyone talking on a cell phone or playing loud music?” To this he smiled and nodded. Then I followed with, “The driver only knows English when he takes the ticket?” This caused laughter and another nod.
Now that I have the rules of the road I am prepared for the return trip. Yes, this was a round trip purchase. With my tool box of knowledge I will bravely once again board the bus for return. Am I scared? Do I need to answer that?