How far will I go to be in New York City??
Let me start by saying I HATE buses. I once road the Greyhound all the way to New Orleans. The 24 hour ride was so brutal that we caught a ride back home. I hate buses. It’s a means to travel that is BOTTOM on my list of ways to get around. The last time I road the Metro in Indy (not including Super bowl) was in 1999, of which my bus driver pulled us over, got off the bus and left after arguing with many of the passengers. It was the East 39 bus, it was packed seat to seat and it was 90+ degrees out. It took us a minute to realize he was GONE !! I lived all the way out East so while some people got off the HOT bus, I didn’t really know what to do but wait. I vowed away from those then. With that said……
I have to be honest.
I’m a google whore. If I have a question that needs answering, some quick math I need calculated, words translated and of course, research done, I turn to google. I don’t believe everything I read and I look for credible sources in whatever I do believe, but google and I have an outstanding relationship of trust and respect. So when my Saturday show that was supposed to fund the first half of my trip got cancelled and flying was no longer an option, I googled “china bus”; the bus line that my fellow vacationers were traveling by. I had never heard of it and couldn’t help but want to know more about it and when I googled it, several stories popped up. None of which were good. According to many reports, a several East Coast bus lines were raided and shut down for bad buses, lack of licenses and other things involving safety, endangerment of passengers and the like. China bus was one of them.
I had a dilemma.
Should I call Too Black and tell him my findings OR should I buy my fifty dollar one way ticket, try to fly back and hope for the best? My cancelled show threw a big monkey wrench in my plans financially, so this was really my only viable option. I bought the ticket and disregarded what I read.
Cut to Dayton, OH.
After spending a couple of hours walking aimlessly around Target, aka the bus stop, we were forced outside about 45 minutes early due to two factors:
The bus was REALLY late. 0_o
So there we were, standing at Too Blacks car. Me, him, the guy taking care of his car in Dayton, Theon & Simone. Four blacks and one Puerto Rican. ……..
…….so as the cops were taking our ID and we told them why we were standing there in the dark-ish parking lot, they begin to chuckle snidely at the China Bus. The pot bellied pig with the brown semi curly hair and the forty something year old mustache proceeded to tell us they had been cited for human trafficking. That we needed to be careful because the buses were essentially breaking the law by even operating; but that they WOULD be there to pick us up, which was something I had begun to worry about. What further troubled me was that I knew at least part of what he was saying was true. Again I faced a dilemma.
Should I tell the gang that this officer, while a perfect asshole, was telling the truth and I had read it with my own eyes, sans the trafficking OR ….do I stay silent and we keep waiting. How else would we get there and what we were to do at this point? We had an obligation to be there Monday night.
Moments later and after our IDs were fit back into our wallets, warrant free (0_o) and the cops were well on their way back to the donut shop from which they rose from, a bus pulled up. It was here. Big white bus, not too many people on it….it LOOKED safe. * shrug *
And then there was that other problem. Only two of us had tickets for that bus. The other two, I being one of them of course, had bought tickets for the bus leaving at 1030. This was the 10pm bus, although it was 1025 when it got there.. 0_o . The driver didn’t speak English at all; he was a simple little Chinese man who looked at our confirmation numbers, made a mark on something and tossed the luggage into the area like ragdolls. Too Black & Simone got on the bus and left; Theon and I walked off to our stop, which was not at Target btw. It was at the Sake shop down the way. Same parking lot though. We started walking and my poor mind was racing as to what I had got myself into and just how far I would go to be with New York. We got halfway across the lot when our bus rolled in. We ran over to it, boarded it and saw a bus full of people. Separate seats. No window seat. Theon went to the back and I parked someone near the middle. And for the next 13 hours, me and my pillow that was supposed to be laying against the window, sat straight up and slept 0_o
…..the bus made about two or three stops. I would open my eyes and see it was still dark, then rush to close them again. Our arrival was 9 am. Sunshine. As long as there was darkness, I should be sleep was my thought process. It was freezing outside and on the bus. My neck was cramped, the man in front of me felt the need to keep trying to lean back and there was zero leg room. The bus ride was rough. Our bus had some kind of ongoing noise that sounded like the lines on the side of the highway that are meant to wake sleeping drivers. For a while I thought we were driving on those lines. then I figured out it was the bus . 0_o
I did sleep for the whole trip with the exception of a few hours. But it was not a sound sleep, mind you I was sitting up. And the bus driver had to have been pushing 90 the entire way there. He bent the corners in Pennsylvania as thought it was the Indy 500. It was nerve wrecking. No one on the bus seemed to speak English and most of them were Chinese. Our drop-off was in Chinatown, so that wasn’t alarming, but I couldn’t help but think briefly from time to time about the trafficking. My phone was dead. This was a toughie.
And I withstood it.
Some thirteen hours later, I woke up….