||On Tuesday, I went to New York to take care of some business
and catch up with some friends living in the city.
The trip itself went very well, and was more or less without
incident. Leaving the city, however, proved to be rather
The Chinatown bus is the cheapest and easiest way to travel
between New York and Philadelphia. A round-trip ticket
costs under twenty dollars, and it only takes a transfer-less
two hours to reach your destination.
When you approach the sidewalk where all the buses are
parked, you are immediately beset by an army of tiny old
chinese women desperately trying to shepherd you onto
their particular company's bus. Perhaps they devoted extra
attention to me, as I had my large, trusty traveling backpack
slung over my shoulders.
In any case, I asked a few of them when their busses were
leaving, and I naturally chose the bus that was leaving
I stepped aboard the bus and found it completely deserted.
Since it wasn't leaving for another ten minutes, I figured
it might take some time for the rest of the passengers
to show up, so I took a seat towards the back and began
reading a newly-purchased book. Here's a drawing of me
sitting in the back of the bus. You can only see the top
of my head, because I'm reading intently.
Eventually, the driver got into his seat and started the
engine. The bus was still empty, save for me and my pack.
I found it slightly amusing that he would have to drive
all the way to Philadelphia with just one passenger.
After about 15 minutes of Manhattan's trademark stop-and-go
travel, the driver turned off the engine and stepped off
the bus. I looked up from my book and saw the river, bordered
by a long chain of busses. I got up and walked to the
front, hoping to inquire why we had stopped in this place
that was so obviously not Philly.
I was greeted only by a closed door at the front of the
bus -- he had locked me in. I watched the driver walk
down the street, get into a minivan, and pull off. He
had locked me in the bus, and now he was gone. He never
even noticed I was there.
I was rather annoyed, to say the least. Not only had the
driver left me a fair distance from my boarding point,
he had also wasted a good chunk of my time. I searched
the control panel for a way to open the front door, but
none of the buttons worked with the engine off. After
a closer inspection of the door itself, I noticed an "EMERGENCY
DOOR OPEN" knob. After a good minute of twisting,
the door fell open with a WHOOSH of liberated air and
I was free again.
Of course, I couldn't just leave like that. No, this guy
had wronged me, and I needed to find a way to get him
back. Unfortunatly, there was nothing on the bus worth
stealing. All I found were some magazines laying on the
I grabbed them, threw them into the toilet
at the back of the bus, and continued on my merry way.
Several hours later, I arrived in Philly. I went to the
Reading Terminal's Dutch Eating Place, and ordered
a cheese burger from the cute amish waitress. It was $2.50,
and it was delicious.
|2019 Chris Maguire