Friday, February 5, 2010

NY and Back--by Bus

Ah, mass transportation. This past weekend I went to NY, NY for the SCBWI 2010 Conference. By bus. Overnight. Because the bus is affordable and has a flexible schedule, that's why.

Sure my butt fell asleep. So did at least one leg. I also can't forget that my neck got a horrible crick in it, but it sure was an interesting trip. Between the bus from my hometown to Toronto, time in the terminal, and then the bus trip from Toronto to NY, it was about a 17 hour marathon. Each way. Plenty of time to ponder life and observe people, particularly since the book I'd chosen for my journey turned out to be lame and I couldn't for the life of me fall asleep for any decent length of time.

 Memorable Moments
  • Realizing the seat I'd chosen from hometown to Toronto was in front of Muttering Man, a guy who fielded regular phone calls between which he'd mutter strings of F words at the weather, the traffic, whatever. I'd be lying if I said the words Manitoba, knife, bus, and murder didn't all go through my head.
  • The New Man who sat beside Muttering Man for part of the journey and proceeded to get Muttering Man into a conversation which revealed MM was up on assault charges against his ex. TMI!
  • Waiting at Buffalo for about 15 Amish people to find seats on the crowded bus full of sleeping, or pretending to be sleeping, people.
  • Discovering that the Amish people had gone through the underground shopping concourse in Toronto in order to arrive at McDonald's for breakfast.
  • Seeing Security swoop down on and herd away the two drunks who were heckling the Amish people who were at McDonald's for breakfast in the underground Toronto shopping concourse.

Snippets and Observations

  • How do you get to the bus terminal, sit down and then think, "Hey, now's a great time to clean my ears" whereupon you roll up a napkin and proceed to do just that? ?????? 
  • In a closed environment like a bus, one cannot help but think that the greatest and not-widely-enough-applied invention of modern society is deodorant. Trust me on this one.
  • Whatever happened to the guy sitting in the seat in front of me? He never did get back on after the stop at the border, did he?
  • People will eat fastfood at any hour of the day... or rather night. Even 3:00am. Gack!
Mass transportation: A writer's observational research goldmine.

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