i left for new york city at 3pm but we didn't arrive until 9pm. if i'd been on a plane, i could've been california by now. i took the lucky star over fungwah because it seemed less crowded. there was a lot of traffic for most of the way, compounded by a confusing weather pattern that couldn't decide whether to be sunny or rainy. the last time i was on a long-distance bus trip was back in china, so it was a nostalgic moment. the bus i was riding in today was a little nicer and i didn't have to worry about the driver stopping to pick up hitchhikers. at the 2 hour mark we stopped by a roadside roy rogers for a bathroom break. at the 4 hour mark the driver stopped at a macdonalds, told everyone to stay onboard, while he got off to use the bathroom and then quickly return to the bus. the driver had an annoying habit of whistling (nobody could really tell him to shut up, since he was driving). he was a master of shortcuts, often exiting the main highway and taking back roads in order to bypass the congestion.
i was surrounded by drama; the later it got, the more pronounced it became. next to me sat an obnoxious medical student, talking on the phone with friends, telling them how he wants to get into cardiology because there's more money in it (i wish there was a way i could warn the medical community about future bad doctors). when his cell phone went dead it brought great joy into my life. behind me sat a japanese girl chatting with somebody in her native language. behind her a girl on her way to attend a bridal shower. in front of me a german couple, the woman having gone crazy, spending the last 2 hours of the trip just twisting her hair aimlessly. cell phones could be heard ringing throughout the trip as friends and family called to ask about the delay.
john met me in chinatown when i finally arrived. we grabbed some dinner at a nearby noodle shop. i was surprised to learn that he never really learned how to use chopsticks - not that i should be pointing any fingers since i use the chopsticks with an improper technique of my own design. afterwards we grabbed a taxi to brooklyn. the driver was an old immigrant who barely spoke enough english and drove as if speed limits didn't exist. making left turns from the right lane or speeding down narrow thickly settled streets at 60mph were all within the realm of possibility.