Chinatown Bus

I don't a whole lot of free days nowadays, between two kids and a
demanding job. But when I can get away, it almost always involves a
train ride and a ballgame. There's something the pace of baseball to
help me relax. And there's something about curling up with a good
book or three on a long train ride - I'm literally still and moving at
the same time - that suits my psyche.

And yet, yesterday, my usual day off activities were ever so slightly
different. Because instead of taking SEPTA and NJ Transit to New
York, I decided to take my maiden voyage on one of those Chinatown
buses. At $20 round-trip, you can't beat the price - if you drove,
you'd spend about $30+ on gas, $10+ on tolls, and who knows how much
on parking.

But some of my friends were early adopters on the mode, and told me
stories of general sketchiness, so I avoided the route up until now.
I'm happy to report that, at least on my two rides yesterday, the
driver wasn't inebriated, the inside didn't smell of urine (once I
decided to move up to the middle from the row right outside the
toilet), and the bus only made three unannounced personal stops each

The ride wasn't as smooth as a train, and no interior lighting meant
no reading whenever we were in a tunnel. But I got from city to city
just as fast as by train if not faster, and pocketed an extra $15 by
going this way. So even though my beloved A's lost a close one to the
hated Yanks, I still feel like I came out ahead yesterday.

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