7.21.2008

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
way.

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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