I know I should really start at the start of the trip or even blog on about the workshop itself first but there's just such hilarity in this portion of my trip that I feel compelled to share this first lol
So for those of you who are not aware I've returned late late last night from the first in this year's series of workshops which was held in Oceanside, NY. For the less geographically savvy we'll just say I've been in NYC this past week :) I took the plunge to save on the cost for this workshop and chose to travel by bus, yes you read right I took the Greyhound! The start of this trip was boring for the most part as I was held up in route to avoid the weather and late arriving by one day because of recent blizzards around the central parts of the US and there's nothing exciting at all to post about this other than being late by a day. The real shenanigans were not going to happen in my travel until I boarded the bus at Port Authority NYC to return home. . .
After schlepping all over Manhattan with Cynthia and Alexander (and my suitcases) I was feeling like a bit of a jerk and a great deal sad it was my last day :( To understand my jerk feelings you'd have to have dragged this wheeled suitcase up and down the stairs of the NYC transit, along with it's recent bum wheel. But I digress lol this is not the hilarious part of the story! We arrived at Port Authority and smoked one last cigarette and made our way inside. We attempted to speak to a man in an information booth to inquire where we were to go for Greyhound, this man on his cell phone could not be bothered to even pause his conversation! We made some polite and then some progressively snarky remarks thru the glass at him and he never even made a motion to stop his phone call. We were annoyed to the point of walking off to find another counter when 2 girls came in behind us and he stopped immediately to aide them. . . first class jerk! We made our way down 2 levels and immediately found Greyhound and just in time as I was due to depart at 3:30 and it was 3:28 lol we checked my bags and began to hurry up and wait in the queue. While waiting, Alexander noticed the person taking our tickets. . . by person I mean we weren't too sure if this was a man or a woman but we were sure this person had the craziest painted on hairline we've ever seen! I don't have words to describe it other than something in theatrical style and done in a heavy grease paint. . . super tacky! So even as the person took my ticket I was still not sure if they were man or woman and was more concerned with thanking Alexander for dragging the dead weight of the suitcase and Cynthia for shouldering the other bag and saying goodbye. I boarded the bus and waited patiently for take off. . . As we rumbled out of the station the driver came across the speaker system and began to read us the rules of travel with Greyhound.
"Ladies and gentlemen my name is Tashonda but you will call me Lil' T and I don't deal wit no nonsense on my bus. . . " I'm telling you this was the angriest sounding African American woman ever! Some scuffle happened in the front of the bus between 2 guys one talking some trash to the other and it was a lot of curse words and Lil' T clearly saw that as nonsense so as we rolled off the bridge into Newark, she told him something. When we rolled to a stop in Newark, she threw the bus in park and came back to his seat and grabbed him by the ear and escorted him off the bus! This is when I realized the person we'd seen with the horrible theatre hairline was Lil' T! As she straight tossed this guy off in Newark I could hear her telling him off about his cussing and I could not help but mischieviously giggle :)
Random nonsense in small amounts continued to happen once we got back on in Newark but I managed to change seats to get away from this nasty smelling man eating kimchee and thought everything was going to be ok, I was wrong!
This seemingly normal looking guy decided to tell me his version of a pick up line. . . "It's raining and grey like this because NYC is so sad to see you leave with me". Somewhere in there my eyes made a complete trip around my head in reverse and I made the most exasperated noise before I even realized it was out loud. "I'll take cheesy pick up lines for 500 Alex." Thanks for the offer but I'll have to pass!
The rest of the ride to Pittsburg was pretty uneventful, there was a strange fear over the occupants of the bus after seeing the guy tossed off in the rain in Newark and it kept all the would be pranksters and loud obnoxious people right in line. I did waste a large amount of this time texting Cyn and Alex and having a bad karma laugh over the whole thing.
Once we arrived in Pittsburg I made some new bus friends and I use the term friends loosely. The tiniest little Hispanic looking woman was ahead of me in line at the cafe counter trying to order some coffee con leche, simple request if you can read the dual labels on virtually every product in the US these days right? The girl behind the counter cops a snarky attitude and proceeds to tell her she don't speak Chinese! Now the Hispanic woman must be over 60 in appearance and this girl behind the counter can't be 21 and she's got absolutely no respect for the fact the woman is obviously an elder let alone a customer. I tell the girl that she wants coffee with milk not cream and this woman waits indignantly for her coffee. When it does come it's just what she wanted and she asks me in Spanish if I speak Spanish. I try to politely articulate that I understand far more than I speak and all she hears is yes and starts to babble at me in a form of Spanish I don't entirely understand. I decipher that she's from Cuba and I realize it's no wonder I don't understand all of what she's saying, I don't speak Cubish. If you ever listen to an excited Cuban speak you will know entirely what I mean by that statement, it's not durogatory at all it's meant as my ignorant way to explain the way they speak. So needless to say we became attached at the hip and I spent the ENTIRE ride between Pittsburg, PA and Chicago, IL translating for her and listening to her life story. . . she never shut up :(
In Chicago I lost my Cuban friend and gained an almost as entertaining one in a heavy set kid from Allentown, PA named Greg. This kid felt compelled to come and share my seat as we reboarded the bus and proceeded to chat my ear off from Chicago, IL to Billings, MT. I know his entire life story and all about the girl he was heading to Washington state to go and meet. He tells me about music borrows my ipod to see what I listen to and I even at one point handed him my PSP to entertain him so I could take a nap! Nice as can be guy but jesus dude STFU once in a while, girls like to speak too!
But wait, it doesn't end there! I had a 5 hour lay over in Billings, MT from 1-6pm, first time I've been alone since Thursday at 3:30 without these bus people and I fully enjoyed just walking about and taking in the city. And yes I needed the walk, 2 days on a bus will kill a normal person's knees I tell you!
Thinking the nonstop talk was finally over and I could nap from Billings to Casper I reentered the empty bus terminal and sat down to wait the last hour of my lay over only to meet Henrietta. . . her mother was arriving on the bus and she just could not stop talking my ears off either! Followed me to the washroom and outdoors to smoke tho she did not!! I could not make this crazyness up, but just about the time I think it's over. . . along comes Marsha. She likes my hair colour and shuts me down to talk talk talk away about cosmetology. Over hearing hair and make up more people join in the conversation and I've now become the coolest thing in the bus depot.
We finally board the bus and of 20 people at least 11 of them sit around me and proceed to ask me the longest drawn out questions about their hair, skin and make up. No one wants to let me give a complete answer to the question and asks another one! So don't get me wrong, a little ego stroke about my profession I invite but 5 1/2 hours of it and I wanted to quit my job and become a fry cook at Mc Donald's to escape. The only thing I can equate it to are the threads we all cringe and winge at on MM lol and yes it was filled with repeats and the same sort of silly questions you can't answer about an aunt or sister I can't see. . .
I must say that I fully blame Alexander for this attracting of people to me on my return trip. He cut my hair and I now appear to be the person to talk to about things, clearly it's this haircut :P
So at the end of it all. . . I am still glad I went and will post a more positive thread now that I've gotten that all off my chest about the actual good parts of the trip and the workshop tomorrow :)