i went to forsythe street to get a travel pack ticket. there was no travel pack bus, but there was a ticket stand, where a young woman sold me a stub for $10 and told me to catch the bus on bowery street. i wandered around the nyc chinatown a little bit, got myself a pearl iced tea, before going to where she said the bus would be. when i got there, there was no bus to be seen either, but there was a little travel pack stand. my look of confusion alerted the woman selling tickets and she told me the bus stop was around the corner. so i followed her instructions, and found a crowd of people standing on a sidewalk, the telltale sign of a bus stop. i positioned myself so i could get first dibs on a seat when the bus eventually came.
i stood next to these two older couples and chatted with them. they just got back from a cross-atlantic cruise from london, and were going back home to ipswich, the husband a doctor at new england medical, where they parked their car for the week. they had a rough time coming off the cruise ship, the company managed to lose their luggage.
a chinese man from one of the stores facing the sidewalk came out and started shouting at the travel pack manager in cantonese. i don't speak the language but i assumed the man was angry because we were crowding his store front. that's when he broke into his english, "everyone, out now!" he shouted angrily, shooing people away with his fingers. no one budged. not when you're standing in a primo spot to get good seats when the bus came. so i guess he went inside and called the cops, because a few minutes later, police officers arrived just when the bus finally showed up. they told the bus manager that the bus couldn't park on the street and would have to stop elsewhere since it'd block traffic. so what the driver did was drive two blocks further up the street, and all 70 people waiting for the bus ran across the street, pulling bags and knapsacks and suitcases, momentarily stopping traffic away. we ran by people waiting for the fung wah bus, who laughed when they saw us travel packers chasing after our bus. humiliating yes, but if it guaranteed me a seat on the bus back to boston, i'd fight old people just to get aboard. of course some of the older passengers couldn't make the 2 block dash to seating freedom, and were left in the dust, who knew what happened to them. the ipswich couple i was talking to fortunately made it though.
on the bus i sat next to a quiet, young black boy, seemed like a high school student. he didn't talk the whole trip, just ate his sandwich from a tin foil wrapper, drank his coffee, and listened to his music. once the bus started moving, i tried as quickly as possible to fall asleep, hoping that when i woke up, i'd be back in boston. we stopped at the midway point, i went out to use the bathroom and to buy some gum, the inside of my mouth feeling fuzzy from lack of dental care. we had to wait several more minutes as chinatown bus amateurs took their time getting back onboard. hey, we only have 15 minutes! i wish the driver left without them. i left on a 3pm bus and didn't get back to boston until 7:30pm. the familiarity was comforting. i walked with knowing determination to south station and took the subway back to cambridge. my parents, who were still at the cafe, came by to pick me up for dinner in belmont, where they wanted to hear about the news of my job offer in person instead of over the phone.
after dinner, we went over to my godmother's new place in belmont to pay her a visit and to retrieve the stud finder that my sister needed for some sort of project. alex (my godmother's son) was home, and he let me borrow some anime dvd's. my parents then drove me back to cambridge, my weekend finally drawing to a close.