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Published: July 14th 2016
(Note: I got stuck at the bus station for like 6hrs. To laugh at my weird encounters with people scroll all the way down.)
(Second note: free wifi is a bonus, but it's not fast enough to load photos)
So, surprisingly enough I made all my connections (MTL-EWR-IAH-ALB) without any trouble. I'm glad I didnt have to wait long in Newark - I maintain that's it's the worst airport in the US. I had almost 3 hrs in Houston, so I had a great big BBQ lunch/supper. Pulled pork and slaw sandwich with mashed potaters and corn. SO GOOD. Having the super long layover gave me time to explore a bit too - huge airport, but easy to get around. I'd transfer here again in a heartbeat.
I had read that flying into Albuquerque in the late afternoon was a rough ride with turbulence... they weren't kidding. Considering they told us to not only do up our seat belts, but to make sure they're extra tight is probably a bad sign 😉. It was rough. Apparently because of the current heat it's hard for planes to take off too... glad I don't have to experience that.
I didn't do much last night in Albuquerque - took a cab into town, went down to find the train/bus station for today, wandered around there and pretty much collapsed at the hotel. The heat wasn't even the problem - it was the altitude. I knew Denver was high up, I hadn't thought about New Mexico.
Checking into the hotel was funny. The manager was super nice - in fact every one I've met here is super friendly... I maintain that as a tourist you would be hard pressed to find friendlier people than Southerners in the US.
Be that as it may, the manager was surprised I'd chosen to come to the US right now lol.
"You actually want to come to our country right now? Aren't you scared? We're kind of messed up at the moment... politically and socially... But I guess you get to leave back to your sane country when you've had enough."
Not exactly the welcome I expected lol. Honest I suppose?
Anyway! Today was all about Santa Fe! On the way to the train station I had like 5 people stop me to chat... apparently this trip is going to be more social than I planned haha. Also, I've been "Hey mami"d like 5x which is unfortunate, but they weren't creepy about it at least and didn't follow or anything. Even their creepers are friendly haha.
While waiting for the train, I made a friend I didn't want - their bumblee bees are the size of toonies... if not bigger.
Train ride was nice - people were chatty again. I feel like this is a bad precursor for the cruise lol.
I found it fascinating that as we passed through Native land, we were asked not to take any pictures as to respect the privacy of their land. I think it's cool that the train actually makes an announcement to say that. I also saw a road runner which honestly was probably the highlight of my journey haha.
Sante Fe is a wonderful city. I made my way down towards the center of town and sat in the shade in the main square for a bit. Ah, beautiful shade. I still don't find the heat too bad, but you feel the sun more I find... if that makes sense.
First tourist stop? A frito pie from Five+Dime. It's a bag of fritos mixed with chilli/beans, cheese and onions. It was fantastic!!! Cheesy goodness. I wandered around the plaza for a bit before gathering the oomph to make my way towards the Cross of the Martyrs... which is up a great big hill. Sigh. My lungs. Nice view though, and I saw a bunch of cute little lizards 😊
Back in town I spent the rest of the day just kind of wandering around loving the Pueblo-Spanish architecture and hunting for sculptures. The art here is another great find - tons of sculptures which are wonderful to look at and offer shade if you're in a pinch 😉
I also went to see the Miraculous Staircase in Loretto Chapel - it's a giant helix staircase with no real supports, so apprently that makes it unique...? Whatever, it was pretty but not sure I would have paid the $3 again.
The Cathedral was a nice visit though. I especially liked the statue out front of St. Francis with a wolf and birds. Someone had placed some flowers in his hand... it was a great visual.
I headed back to Albuquerque with the plan of dropping my bag off at the Greyhound station and then going to see a movie (my bus to Denver is at 2am, ugh.) Needless to say that didn't happen.
First I get back to my hotel to pick up my suitcase where my friend from yesterday is back at the desk. "Oh! Have I got a story for you!!" He proceeds to tell me how a few hours ago he heard tires squeal and looked up to see a man laying down in the middle of the (4 lane major/main) road. He runs out to see if the man is ok, and some other bystander was there too. Hotel guy calls 911. Guy in road wasn't hit by a car... he's just like chilling. And high. Cool. Paramedics shows up and road guy tries to run away saying he needs brains.
Hotel guy leaves and goes back to the hotel. An hour later cops show up looking for road/brains guy. No luck.
Another hour later road/brains guy shows up at the hotel and asks for a monthly rate at the hotel ahahaha. I'm like... please tell me you didn't. Hotel guy says it's too expensive for him anyway as if that was the only issue lol. Hotel guy then starts telling me all about his own past when he was a drug addict on the streets. All in all I got to enjoy a 30 min story... when all I wanted was to get my laptop out of suitcase and leave lol.
So I get to Greyhound at 6:30ish... and the desk is closed. It's closed from 6pm-9pm... what complete garbage. So I'm now sitting in an empty Greyhound station that thankfully has wifi.
Random things I over hear during the day:
Lady from Niagara: "We're from Niagara."
Guy from Wisconsin: "What a beautiful place. You know, if you cross over to the Canadian side."
LfN: "Yeahhhhh. Canada is pretty great."
LfN: "I used to love driving to Toronto, but now the TRAFFIC." (10min traffic rant)
Lady yelling down the street at me: "I LOVE YOUR SHORTS."
Train person 1: "How was your day?"
Train person 2: "Wellllll, ehhhhh."
TP2: "Wah wah?"
TP1: "You work with a bunch of wah wahs?"
Greyhound waiting room updates
7:10pm: a man came in and announced he was going to juggle. He pulled out *one* orange and started to throw it around for a good 5 minutes. Took a bow. Walked out.
7:40pm: a "lady of the night" walked up to me and asked me how I was doing. I'm alright, thanks... yourself? "Oh. I've been better sweetie." And she walks off.
7:50pm: juggling orange man is back. He's angry at his orange though and chucked it at the main door. Goes to pick it up, opens the door and then chucks it outside.
7:50pm: another man is puking up a lung in a garbage can half way down the station. awesome.
8:00pm: TV in station is running pretty much nonstop Trump adds. Ew.
8:15pm: random man walks into the station, looks around and walks over. "Have a good day ma'am." And then walks away.
8:15pm: security guard walks over and notes that a) I'm popular today and b) laughs at my predicament of being stuck here. Thanks bud.
8:35pm: man playing a racing game at the arcade machine dares me to try. No thanks. Man proceeds to ask me nicely to play. Still no thanks. "*WAILS* WHY WON'T PEOPLE PLAY WITH ME" and storms out of the building.
8:45pm: Pretty sure the security guard is playing Pokemon Go... what even.
9:05pm: Desk is now open. Debate paying $8 to leave my bag here for 4 hours and to go see a movie down the road. Decide not worth it. Happily watching some animal planet cat show on the TV station in between all the Trump commercials.
9:20pm: Made a friend from Tulsa, OK. He just told me like his whole sad life story. People are good souls.
10:00pm: Station is now busy busy. Good. No longer the target of everyone who walks into the station.
10:15pm: Man is walking around telling people to listen to his music and shoving the headphones on their head. I've put my own headphones on, hoping that will do the trick.
10:15pm: Lady doing yoga in the middle of the waiting area.
10:20pm: Old black woman speaking with heavy Texas accent: "Texas not the place you want to go to jail. They believe in killing you. They will fry yo' ass." Now she's telling stories about her neighbours and different profiling things.
10:25pm: Now they're talking having a safe room in your house if you're black. Another black man chimes in: "My friend had one of those. He got shot right out on his porch. Safe room din't help him."
10:30pm: Now they're listing the people they know that have been shot. Omg.
10:40pm: Racial talk is over. We're now all discussing Pokemon Go. Sadly, the security guard is not here for this.
11:00pm: My bus is now running 30min late according to the tracker. Fuck off.
11:10pm: Everyone just boarded the bus to St. Louis. I'm pretty much alone again. Sad.
11:15pm: Realization dawns that I'm going to be right back here on on the weekend when I bus to Phoenix at 12:30am. I'm coming to the realization I'm too old and grumpy to keep doing this, despite the interesting human interactions I get lol.
That's my last update because I'm putting headphones in and I'm going to read. Wish me luck.
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