Texas has been a constant stream of first experiences for me. The very first of these was the journey from Albuquerque to Lubbock, where I was heading to attend Jerod Foster‘s annual workshop (more on this later). I got on a Greyhound bus instead of the plane, and had possibly the best bus journey to date.
I’ve been amused at how jovial the atmosphere is on US domestic flights, but it is nothing compared to the carnival that was my first Greyhound ride. Everyone was talking to everyone, individually and as a group, about anything and everything (and I mean everything). I am continually surprised at how keen many people are to tell a complete stranger their life stories, intimate details and all, despite it happening with remarkable consistency over the course of the last four months. I’ve heard a fair few biographies in my time on the road, but some of the tales throughout that eight hour ride certainly top my list of the most colorful. I expected to finish a book or two in the course of the day-long journey, but that never happened: I got my narrative fix from real people instead.
As a regular bus taker in my former life, I appreciated this long ride mightily. It was a comfortable, pleasant change from flying, and the security rigmarole one has to go through in airports, especially since I had the time to spare. I also got to see a lot more of the country than I would in a plane, and in this case, learn about all the random things passing by because Ted, our driver, was more than happy to ensure this visitor walked away with an appreciation of his life on the road, and how driving a bus really can be a meditation on the human condition.
I can’t fathom a Greyhound full of Texans; much less riding along for eight hours. Sounds like a “Jackass” movie stunt. There are some larger-than-life skies/storms and funny-as-hell folks here, but I’m going to kiss the ground under my feet once I hit Carrizozo, NM again.
a native Texan
It’s funny, everyone on the bus was going “hell yeah” when we crossed the state line into Texas from New Mexico. Not everyone was Texan. Lots of folks from NM & Oklahoma too. It was an excellent ride!
The chattiness of American’s is one thing that never ceases to amaze me. Sitting in the airport the other day, a woman asked for directions to the gate, and the next thing I know, we are having an hour-long conversation about her sister, her delinquent daughter, and the state of children today. Sure makes public transport a lot more interesting!
I’m having that experience absolutely everywhere JP. And yeah it certainly does make public transport quite, quite different :)
Sounds like a bit of fun and I bet the time just whizzing by, love the pic of the bus drivers hand and can imagine him talking, at least he had the one hand on the wheel. Must have been a great experience…
I spoke to him for the entire second leg of the journey (Amarillo – Lubbock), cause there were only 4 of us in the bus at that point. It was great!
Love how everyone shares their stories and wants to connect. The amount of awesome people we met on MMR, and everywhere in the US. People so kind and willing to connect. Scandinavians a bit more of a wall to scale.
Miss those wide open roads and landscapes. MMR siempre.
It always brings to mind the old adage “no man is an island.” I guess in many ways that is true. Sometimes a brush with another human is what we all need to keep going.
Wow, you rode Greyhound’s worst bus, the horrible White G4500! I’m glad that one wasn’t so bad. The ones that aren’t so bad get rebuilt. The ones are really so bad get scrapped.
Was that really Greyhound’s worst bus? I’m curious to see what their best buses are like… must be pretty posh!