Given the choice, I would not travel coach, let alone by coach. The powers that be have conspired against a civilised link between Montreal and Boston – flights prohibitively expensive, trains only via New York over two days – so there is little choice. The newer buses, with reliable temperature control, reading lights that work, and wireless connections, ought not to be too terrible. Unfortunately I find the selling points of even the most up-to-date Greyhounds to be defective. On the latest trip it was 80 degrees, my reading light didn’t work (putting paid to the objectionable book), and the wireless was patchy at best. These modern contrivances only add frustration to the general unpleasantness of travel when they do not work.
For all that, it is not so much the bus itself that gets my goat as the other people with whom I have to share space. Other people will always be objectionable, and it is just as well. If we went around instantly liking everyone the world would be unbearable. Still, I would like it very much if the following might actually be observed when in close proximity of strangers over the course of seven hours, with no possibility for escape:
1. When the driver says ‘turn off your cell phone ringer’, do it.
2. Select some food that tastes great but which you alone can smell.
3. Chewing gum over many hours is unsavoury enough. But with your mouth open? Please.
4. I will take it on trust that your music rocks. I do not need to hear it.
5. You are an inveterate snorer. Don’t go to sleep.
I might add, for those travelling across international borders, if your passport or credentials are remotely incredible, please don’t travel at all. Being on a bus that moves is bad enough. Being on one that is parked at the border while we wait for you, possibly not to be let in, is just too much to bear.
No Bark Mulch - The annual spring repost from the knowing Maine antiquarian: No ‘Bark Mulch’ At old New England homes. “Weeding” is done At old New England homes. If ‘an...
6 hours ago