I’ll admit…I’m spoiled. I’ve always had access to a car, or money for a plane ticket. So at age quarter-plus-a-dime-plus-some-pennies, I rode a greyhound bus for the first time. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I am definitely glad that I had my sister with me.
I ordered our tickets online and it said to be there about 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time. So we were. When we got there, we went to the counter and got tags for our luggage that was going to go under the bus. There were two doors (Gate 1 &2) and we were told we were at Gate 1. Seriously they were right next to each other, you could have gone out either to get to the bus. I noticed that there were some bags right at Gate 1. It was how people were saving their place in line, so we added our bags to the queue and sat down on the other side of the room. When the bus pulled up, everyone got in line by their bag and filed out Gate 1 towards the bus. My sis and I were third in line and decided that I would stand by the bags until they were loaded and she would go find us a seat on the bus.
The first two people sat their bags next to the bus and went on, I stayed with our bags and then every person after me, proceeded to leave their bag next to the bus and just get on. All alone, I stood there with our luggage… I feel like I’m hearing a lot about White Privilege lately and as a white woman who knows she’s spoiled, I felt like I was being judged by every person who was on the bus. All of them looking at me as if I was racist and classist, not trusting them, or the bus driver or the neighborhood with my little carry-on size bag. The bus driver came over and proceeded to start loading bags and I watched her load our two bags and then I got on. As I got on and looked for my sister, I felt the judging eyes of all the other passengers.
But then…The bus driver got on. She got on the PA system and proceeded to address all the other passengers. “When you are traveling by bus you need to wait outside with your luggage that you are checking under the bus. You need to watch the bus driver put it on the bus. You don’t know who might walk up to the luggage and take it or if the bus driver will see it and actually put it under. This way you know that your luggage is going to make it with you to your destination.” I’m glad I stood with the luggage.
While we were traveling between Long Beach and San Diego, Sis and I were talking the whole trip. We seemed to be the only ones traveling together, so we tried very hard to whisper as to not bother anyone else. About 30 minutes into the ride, the bus driver got on the PA again and said: “take your phone off of speaker.” Sis and I continued to talk. The driver came on again. “Someone please tell her to get off the speaker phone!” We have a feeling since we were about 3 rows behind her, she could hear both parts of our conversation and thought someone was on speaker. Oh well.
We got to SD safe and sound. Spent about 36 hours there and then caught the 6:15am bus back to LA. People watching at 6:15 in the morning is quite an experience. Maybe that should be another post.