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Published: June 15th 2017
Went cattle class to Norfolk VA from Springfield VA on the Greyhound, as Amtrak cancelled my train
The journey to cousins was a mission I tell you - I DO NOT recommend Greyhound - but I endured - it is an adventure after all . . Just not to be repeated any time soon or ever again!
The service was overbooked so 2 coaches were needed. Over 1 and a half hours later
the second one arrived whilst they hunted for another driver - who turned out not to exactly know his way. Anyway - upside was we got onto a cleaner coach with more space - some comfort then - and arrived seriously late
The Greyhound staff at Richmond were quite rude - especially on the Info Desk - easily the worst trained staff I've ever come across. Attitude attitude attitude and no clarity of expression - could hardly tell what was being said to me.
So I'm going to sound like a spoilt middle class consumer. So be it and so here goes:
Initially there no info whatsoever on what was happening - electronic display was
THE GREYHOUND EXPERIENCE
Williamsburg VA - one of the better terminals NOT owned by Greyhound themselves
totally blank. Out of three staff asked, one was prepared to even hazard a guess on what was happening and that turned out to be wrong.
A humbling snapshot of what the disenfranchised, and the budget adventure traveller have to cope with.
Its definitely a pleasure inflicted on the young, the poor and the stoic. I think I may have met a few of Donald's supporters and victims in the process - I had the good fortune to stand next to a guy who must have mistaken me for someone with a sympathetic ear, which in a very nasal pronunciation went as follows:
"I juust wanna get home and hold ma dodder. Hn, hn, hn. I haven't seen hur in faaav days. Hn, hn, hn. Ah juust wanna hold hur close to muy. Hn, hn, hn!" "they don't seem to vary effush-ient" "Hn, hn, hn!" "Al show them effush-ient" "Hn.hn, hn!" which was repeated with monotonous regularity for the whole time I was in that bloody queue! Being British of course I couldn't possibly tell him to shut the **** up!
OK I shouldn't mock - but . . . I almost prayed "Spock
HAVE TICKET - WILL NOT TRAVEL
Tickets - despite the bar code - have to be in printed form
The coach driver let another passenger on without a printed ticket but with ID - but in the same breath decided I didn't qualify so I had to queue up and get a clearance slip from the most morose person I've ever come across
- Beam Me Up!"
I tried to offer to text his brother so he'd know not to collect him too early - which fell on deaf ears - he was half way through another mantra
Strangely once he got on the bus he was barely interested in me, being focussed instead on eating a pile of junk food.
Later cousin Avi collected me from the terminus - he's one of my cousins from Canada - we've never met before
He's an Associate Professor Communication & Theatre Arts & Director of the Institute for the Humanities at the Old Dominum University. Quite a few of the younger generation of (2nd) cousins are of that ilk. I don't even understand the the titles of his discourses - let alone the content. We had lunch in a local restaurant called Chow
- Food always a great leveller. In this case the focus is a really interesting starter of deep fried gherkin, cuts of ham, some piquant sauce and something that appeared to me a ball of chopped rice/egg/paprika/garlic (turns out Pimento cheese plate in fact), followed by clams cooked in white wine sauce with scallions (spring onions to you) washed
THE GREYHOUND EXPERIENCE
Richmond VA - where the the experience really bottomed out
now with a local brewed Pilsner. Avi had some amazing liver dish with an outer crusty coating - Balsamic and garlic fried chicken livers
Liver made interesting enough for a Glas-Weegie to eat?
Thats quite an achievement I think!
Later we collected his very sweet and precocious twins, meeting his in-laws in the process, and took them to the local botanical gardens.
The gardens were a treat - a combination of wet woodland and grassland with interactive stuff for the children (and adults it has to be said)
Marred I am afraid by the authorities having the bright idea of building the local airport RIGHT next to it, and I mean right next
Dinner was provided by Nikki - Avi's wife - on the BBQ - but healthy marinated salmon and char grilled vegetable you would not approve Ray ....
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