My long trip too

A far cry from a Boeing 777.

My wacky friend Steve Cotton lives by choice on a Mexican beach in the sweltering heat which, in itself, illustrates his wackiness. He’s a talented writer, so check out his blog.

Recently, he flew around the world, which is an interesting thing on the face of it, but he did it oddly. Except for two plane changes in which he did not leave the airports in Tokyo and Dubai, the trip consisted entirely of sitting on the plane. That’s it, two days in the air.

Sitting. Go figure.

His long trip reminded me of something similar I did in 1964. I too sat in a steel tube, but it traveled from Los Angeles to New York City. Instead of Steve’s two days, my trip lasted four. Steve’s trip seems to have had no purpose aside from flying around the world.

My trip’s purpose was to see an 18-year-old Jewish Princess hottie in New York City. Her name was Janie Friedman, and we’d been an item in high school. I was in looove.

Unlike Steve’s cushy, Business Class accommodations, I had a standard seat on a Greyhound bus. There was no stewardess, and there were no onboard meals with cloth napkins and a fresh tulip.

We stopped at diners to eat and stretch our legs.

Unlike Steve’s extensive planning (one supposes), I did no planning whatsoever. I did not even think to take a toothbrush onboard. It was stashed in my luggage below. I spent those four days unbathed in the same duds, same underwear, same everything.

Looove inspires madness.

But it was an interesting ride from the southwestern corner of America to the northeastern. We went through deserts and plains and farmlands. Some cities too though I don’t recall which ones. In the middle of the night near Pittsburgh, the bus broke down, and we sat a spell in the dark till a replacement arrived.

It was my first and lengthiest visit to New York City. I stayed four nights in a cheap hotel near the Manhattan bus station.

In the mid-1970s, I returned briefly to New York City en route to Europe, and I’ve never returned.

The reunion with Janie was a disappointment. She had moved beyond me, and I realized we were not to be. I hopped another Greyhound down to Nashville where my parents were living, and life continued thereafter from one misstep to the next.

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(Note: I addressed this trip from another angle over three years ago in a post titled The New York City Adventure.)

10 thoughts on “My long trip too

  1. Had a two-day Greyhound ride many years ago, not for love, just to get from one place to another. I met a few interesting people on the trip, not too interesting, I guess, as I don’t remember names or what we talked about. I did bring my toothbrush with me and some clean clothes up top. No WiFi. Don’t know how I did it.

    Steve’s trip is interesting. Some people just have to travel.

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    1. Kirk: Two days? Ah, you’re just an amateur, and you brought your toothbrush too. That’s not roughing it. Seriously, the fact that I did not even stick a toothbrush in my pocket is astounding. Where was my head? It was a young head, so I’ll blame that. Youthful stupidity.

      After a few months in Nashville with my parents, I rode another bus back to California. And then a couple of months after that, I ran out of money, and rode a bus back to Nashville. Lots of buses for me in that time. A few years before that, after I got out of Air Force Basic Training, I was put on a train in San Antonio to Chicago where I changed to another train to California. Where else?

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      1. I went by train much more than buses, much more civilized. That is a long trip to go from San Antonio to California through Chicago.

        I have not traveled by bus here in Mexico, I have heard it is a good service but too many restrictions right now.

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        1. Kirk: The trip from San Antonio to California via Chicago would have been a long one, but I did not do it. I was confusing things when I wrote that. I went from San Antonio to Rantoul, Illinois, to a training base. Later, after a leave, I rode a train from Nashville to California via Chicago. Long trip too but not so long as the San Antonio-Chicago-California route would have been.

          My last bus trip in Mexico was in January or February of last year, just before the Kung Flu hysteria kicked in. We went to Guanajuato for a couple of nights. I tend to disregard most of the hoopla about the pandemic, but I don’t get into steel tubes with scads of strangers. That much I avoid. Neither buses nor planes. I am about ready for another trip to Guanajuato, however.

          My favorite bus line is ETN because of the extensive leg room, my being tall and all.

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    1. Ricardo: As you no doubt know, intercity bus service in Mexico spans the gamut, and some lines are spectacularly cushy. From what I have read, no one in the United States rides them anymore except poor people.

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  2. My journeys in buses were but a handful — and all in my youth. Two paper boy trips in the early 1960s. One to the exotic foreign reaches of Canada and one to the even more exotic and far-more-foreign Los Angeles. Disneyland was the objective in the latter. The longest bus trip was with a group of high school juniors. We took the train from Portland and then a bus that took us, during the next month on an American heritage trip from Virginia to Massachusetts with stops in between. Then there were a series of trips in grade and high school when I headed south to visit my grandmother in Powers.

    They were all fun. At the time. But that was where my bus journeys ended. With two exceptions. A university pal and I needed to hop a bus to a wedding in Los Angeles when my whorehouse red Olds Cutlass convertible blew a fuel pump in Bakersfield and we were picked up by a recently-released murderer who was packing heat and swilling beer — until we abandoned him for a Greyhound. The last was here in Mexico. I took ETN to Guadalajara to pick up my new Escape.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Interesting summary. Thanks. I recall your report some while back of the ride with the murderer. As for Mexican lines, that ETN takes the prize, mostly for the legroom. My favorite bus.

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