I hadn’t taken a long bus trip in ages. You all know why. The Greyhound bus can be really, really, really weird — not the vehicle, its occupants. (Maybe the Bolt buses between major Northeastern cities are cool and hip. Not Greyhound.)
I boarded the bus from Kamloops (interior of B.C.) back to Vancouver, a 5.5 hour jaunt, at 6:45 a.m. I had a jacket for a pillow, an Itouch with tunes, a coffee, a lunch, a book. I was all set.
Then the woman in the very back row coughed almost all the way. I was only four rows from the toilet, so there was a bit of that smell.
Two men sat behind me, one who kept repeating that he was 43. OK, then. His seatmate was 45 and decided to crack a joke about the unbelievable Grand Guignol that happened in 2008 aboard a Greyhound bus crossing Manitoba — when one man cut off the head of a total stranger aboard the vehicle.
(The joke he told: “Did you hear they rebranded Greyhound with a new logo? Where might you be headed?)
Yup. I was a little nervous, I admit.
My seatmate was the best, a lively little 11-year-old named Destiny from Prince George; her six-year-old sister, Eternity was two rows back with their Mom.
“So, are you going to Vancouver?” she asked. And….we were off. She was a hoot. She showed me the 67 (!) blond jokes on her IPhone, some of which we both shrieked at, told me her favorite food, and we loved the fact we were wearing identical clothing — a white cotton sleeveless top and black leggings. She had a yellow and pink manicure, with alternating colors per finger. (I did not.)
The morning was misty and gray as we began, the bus snaking along roads at the foot of hills so steep they had snow-capped peaks. “I’m scared. This is creepy,” she said.
“Just pretend it’s a Harry Potter movie,” I suggested. “Maybe we’ll see him whizzing through the valley.”
“Yeah, as if it’s green screen [she meant blue screen, but I was still impressed]. And his broom is mechanical.”
“How did you get to be so cynical at 11?” I asked. She shrugged.
We saw four rainbows, many trucks carrying logs or trees or wood products. She got hungry and I gave her one of my carrots. We snoozed, joked, and somehow ended up on the topic of hair care. She uses a curling iron, hairdryer, straightener. “I’m not wearing mousse today,” she admitted.
“I washed mine,” I said.
“You didn’t brush it?” she said, aghast.
We finally made it to Vancouver.
“You were fun,” she said.
“So were you,” I said.
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