Adventures! The Sequel!

I am sitting in a Panera (what people outside of STL call Bread Co, unless you are my mom, who calls in "Paneras") in downtown Minneapolis, catching up on e-mail, news, Twitter, etc. I feel dirty and I'm sore all over, which could either be from playing tennis and riding bikes yesterday or spending 16 hours on two buses last night. I mean, either or.

Let me say this about Megabus: it got me here safely, cheaply, and probably much quicker than Amtrak ever could. As previously mentioned, it cost me $50 from St Louis to Minneapolis by way of Chicago, and I didn't get my tickets until a few days before I left. Had this been my plan all along, it very well may have been cheaper. And, although the first bus from Chicago arrived about 20 minutes late, and my bus to Minneapolis departed over an hour late, I only arrived in Minneapolis about 30 minutes behind schedule. As anyone who has traveled Amtrak west of New York knows, that's not bad compared to the train, whose schedule depends on freight trains on the rails, who have priority over passenger trains. A train ticket would have cost $180, and a plane ticket was going to be $500. Screw that, I'm about to be unemployed (Hire me!). Megabus it is.

So, I boarded the first bus right outside of Union Station in Missouri. All you do is stow your luggage in the luggage compartment, then show your reservation number to the bus driver. No ID, no boarding pass. The seats are about the size of airline seats, with no overhead compartments. This is where Megabus lags behind Amtrak. Amtrak is much more comfortable, with seats with foot rests and room to maneuver. I was wedged next to a pasty guy reading a book on trivia. Surprisingly, I was able to read the entire Sunday Times without infringing on his personal space. There was one half-hour stop, where I stretched my legs, bought some coffee, and called Chris. I felt uncomfortable using my phone on the bus, because the sound acoustics made it seem really annoying, although the college girl talking about absolutely nothing, really loudly, for two hours didn't seem to mind. My iPod did me a solid and didn't run out of batteries the entire time, despite the fact I was playing Solitaire. The bus was clean, too. Did I mention the buses are double-decker? The best seat in the house has to be in front of the top deck, with a panoramic view of the road, but those seats go to the first in line, which, alas, was not me.

I was hoping that the overnight Megabus from Chicago to Minneapolis would be less crowded, so I could have two seats to myself so I could sleep. I generally have good luck with these arrangements. Once, when flying home from Germany, I had TWO empty seats next to me. Took two Benadryl and was assed out until the flight attendant woke with with hot moist towlettes (which sound dirtier than they are. They're actually quite refreshing). As the pushing hordes of people can attest, this bus was sold out. As in, no empty seats whatsoever and people pushing their way on like it's Mumbai or something. I ended up sitting at one of those table seats, where two rows face each other with a table in between. This was incredibly uncomfortable, and I had the shortest legs of anyone at my table. I probably got five hours of sleep (thanks, Tylenol PM!) which will inevitably hit me a hour into my first class, alienating me from my classmates and professor. Oh, wait, probably my disheveled appearance, musty smell, and furry teeth will alienate me. Anyway, I swear on my life some motherfucker was smoking pot on the bus. First I thought it was a skunk. Then I realized it was skunk. That's some bold shit right there. There was also a screaming baby and a dude snoring worse than my Grandma Best, and she can saw some logs. Again, thanks to iPod, I listened to a This American Life about proms and Drive By Truckers until I woke up in the morning.

All in all, I would recommend Megabus to anyone with time on their hands who wants to save money. Would I do it with kids? Not on a sold-out bus. But if you want to get somewhere for cheap in a relatively timely fashion, it's worth it. St Louisians--I would highly recommend this option over taking the train to Chicago. Cheaper and faster. You sacrifice comfort, but what do you expect for $50?

I also took pictures, but only with my Holga, because it seemed appropriate, so you won't see them for a long, long time.

Okay, I'm going to finish some reading of the internets, then go to campus and clean up, because I'm not trying to spend my entire first class paranoid that my lady parts are not-so-fresh or my breath is stank.

Oh yeah, read this. Those darn homosexuals, tarnishing the sanctity of marriage. My ass. We should all pray that any couple that makes it 55 years together should be allowed to publicly and legally be allowed to commit to each other. As long as the Britney Spears and Pamela Andersons of the world are getting married and divorced with the seasons, don't talk to me about the "sanctity" of marriage.


Crafty and Crap said...

Some good Monday morning reading....have fun learning and such...

Caitlin said...

Just stumbled upon your blog as I'm about to embark to Cincinnati from Chicago via Megabus. Thanks for the detailed descrip! Also, I just listened to the Proms episode on Sunday. :)