Friday, July 22, 2005

Bus Trip Day 2

It’s the Washington Monument again – in the foggy distance. We just went right by the Pentagon. Impressive! Crossing the Potomac now – Jefferson Memorial up close – Lincoln Memorial in the distance. Tunneling under a lot of buildings now.

We’re beside the National Arboretum. I went there once. Now, Goddard Space Center Employees Only sign. Baltimore – Washington Parkway – all woods on sides, with deer crossing signs.

9:00 A.M. – if I was on the train, I would have long since been eating breakfast. Good thing I had an apple leftover. OK – Baltimore Travel Plaza – time to eat. Actually, that was dismal, nothing good there, a very poor excuse for a terminal.

New Jersey – vine (kudzu?) growing up electric pole with two arms growing out along wires – looks like a giant green man.

New York, New York - in the haze, the Empire State Building. Just went past the Newark airport sprawl. When was I last in NYC? It’s been quite a while, I think. Many swans on a large pond area. Saw the Chrysler Building. I can remember when it was part of my view out the windows when I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch in the late 50’s (on the upper floors, offices) at 45th and Madison. A & F is not there anymore. When I went to NY in the 80’s, the building had been replaced with a Japanese bank building.

I almost missed the bus to Geneva at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. After retrieving my baggage, I stood in line in the ladies’ room, wondering if I dared brush my teeth, with a sign stating no bathing, shaving, laundering, and the attendant standing right there. Good thing I didn’t try. I wouldn’t have been sitting on this bus.

A guy who didn’t speak a lot of English directed me to the man to ask for directions to the gate I needed for Geneva (Port Authority has 100 or 200 gates according to the driver from Fayetteville). The guy who didn’t speak much English said he’d take me to the gate, up an escalator, along a corridor, down another escalator, and he carried two pieces of luggage. I was loaded down – I don’t have to do that on the train – you check it and don’t see it until you get where you are going.

Gate 62 was what I was told. Just as we were arriving there, I heard an announcement “Last call bus to Geneva Gate 66”. I informed the guy, tipped him and he took my luggage to the other gate and put it beside the bus. I’m sure he was there hoping for tips, but he was worth it. I had a brief thought about not allowing someone to take your bags, but I was with him and I had basically sized him up as being someone who was hoping for a couple of bucks.

---I can’t stand the thought of unclean teeth. So I brushed them while sitting here on the bus; a bit of toothpaste on the brush, really brushed a lot, wiped my mouth and brush with a napkin, drank water out of a bottle – all refreshed now. A shower and change of clothes would be good, but it’s not as bad as a cross-country bus trip (which I hope never to do again).

I only slept off and on last night. I was very uncomfortable and I guess the baby was, too. She was crying a lot, and her Mom and Dad had a hard time quieting her. The mother stood in line with the baby and other girls, at the station in Fayetteville, NC until after 2:00 A.M. (over 2 hours), talking to me and the two ladies who were traveling in front of me. She told us they had only been in this country for 4 months, from Albania. She spoke English fairly well, and the girls seemed to have no problem with the language. They were traveling from Florida to New Haven to stay with her cousin for a lengthy period. Her brother and several other family members live in Greece.


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