Wednesday, January 18

Lucky Star Bus

I went to NYC over the long weekend to visit the boy- unfortunately the way I get there is via the lucky star bus. This is a true trip into a microchosim of society that few get to visit- so let me help you through this post.
I usually try to get to South Station to board at least 30 minutes before departure time. They don't let you board until about 5 minutes before they are scheduled to leave, but I like to be one of the first in line so I can get a seat near the front (anyone who has taken busses frequently in the pass knows if you sit near the front you won't have to share the seat since people always head to the back to find seats). I suppose that makes me a special part of the social scene as well.
Anyway- a line inevitably forms behind me of other mute bus riders who just want to get on and get where they are going. For this reason I usually start using my IPod as I'm waiting, however this past time I didn't. This exposed me to the lovely woman who stood behind me and started chatting. She was clearly a bit of an odd duck. Started right in about how she does the bus trip every week from VT to NYC to go see some movies and sneaks food in? So odd. I just stood there nodding as she talked to my back.
So, because I'm first in line I get a seat right in the front of the bus, sweet. Loads of people pile on all heading to the back, just as I'd planned. About 2/3 of the way through the bus filling up- the odd duck from earlier- runs off yelling about there being too many people and she needs her ticket back, this isn't what she paid for- she can't ride with this many people. I watch as the young asian man who's "heading up" the operations that night try to handle her and think, for someone who rides this weekly- wouldn't you 1. expect it to be full (it always is) and 2. be used to it by now?
Anyway- although this is a little out of the usual for the Lucky Star- it was so worth pointing out.
Unfortunately someone sits next to me, just as we're getting ready to leave. She's skinny- so its okay and I settle in. As we head down the expressways- I notice the driver creeping closer to closer to cars in front of her. I can hardly ever read on the Lucky Star due to the constant braking and jerking from lane to lane. They do however avoid the furtherest left lane, so corteious.
The Lucky Star always stops at Roy Rogers on 84. There was one trip where I got fried chicken on the way down and back- it was good- but I can never do it again. It is always a mad rush off to the bus to get to the bathrooms- and the counter. I wouldn't trust the one of the bus, I've actually never had to use it- knock on wood. You would think the Roy Rogers staff would be prepared for the bus that seems to always stop on their many trips the time of which could be easily predcted and tracked.
It is during this stop that I always get to see the real demographic of who is on the bus. There is always a handful of Asian men and women making the trip to the city- you usually see them on the way back with bags and bags of cheap goods they've amassed over the weekend. There are usually a group or two of college freshman getting away for the weekend, they giggle a lot towards the back of the bus. I often see pairs of African American women and at least one African American family with their children. The rest are a smattering of young adults like myself- visiting friends, etc. This time there was a large group of seniors in highschool that looked like they were heading into the city to rave- I didn't know raving was still in.
Anyway- its always somewhat upsetting to have to climb back on the bus- by this point there is trash collecting and it is starting to smell a bit.
When you finally arrive on Chrystie St. its exciting that you've reached your destination- but it is still a bit of a trip to get to where you need considering the Train is a good walk away. I had to wait longer than usual for the boy to get me so I got to see who left with who and where they want. A lot of people walked off to find the Train, a few lucky ones got rides and others hailed cabs. And, lucky for me I saw the odd duck get off the fung wah and walk by me muttering to herself- thank god she didn't recognize me.
I've never really talked to anyone on the Lucky Star- I've oohed an awwed at babys and smiled at people if we both saw something funny. My streak broke on the way home. The girl sitting next to me started up after we boarded post roy rogers- it was actually really nice. Maybe I'll try it next time too. Here's to Presidents Day weekend and my next Lucky Star trip.

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