I’m going on a week long hiking, camping, and yoga adventure in The Catskills next week with some friends. I first had to go to Connecticut to pick up my car, as we will be needing it pretty much everyday next week. I normally go to Grand Central and take metro north to New Haven, and then get picked up driven home - which is about a 45 minute ride.
I really enjoy taking the train. I get to walk through Grand Central Terminal, which is quite beautiful. There are tons of trains going very often at peak hours, and I don’t have to do any planning or ticket buying in advance. The new M8 trains have comfortable seats and power outlets in every row. The trains never get stuck in rush hour traffic, which gets horrendous at rush hour near NYC. Plus I just love trains, and get to ponder endlessly about the possibilities of an upgraded super-fast-maglev-hyperloop future.
But tonight I couldn’t take the train. The logistics just didn’t work out in terms of getting picked up. I had to take the bus home, and was not a happy camper. At first I was fairly annoyed, and was even momentarily angry that no one would spend an hour and a half picking me up from New Haven. I was upset that I had to buy my bus ticket in advance. I was dreading having to navigate the labyrinth of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I was stressed out that I had to catch the one and only bus leaving NYC that would drop me off closer to my house. I was concerned that the bus would get stuck in endless traffic and I wouldn’t get home until far, far later than the schedule said.
Now I’ll admit, finding the bus gate at the Port Authority Bus Terminal wasn’t exactly easy. But the bus ride itself...was actually enjoyable. I managed to snag the emergency row seat that had double leg room. The bus left on time, hit no traffic (which was a minor miracle that I didn’t think was even possible), and we arrived at my drop off location 2 minutes early! My Dad ended up picking me up, and for him it was only a 20 minute round trip from our house. I’m a sucker for efficiency, and saving that much time for whoever has to pick me up has me seriously considering making the bus my default way to get home.
The bigger take away from tonight’s bus ride though isn’t just that the bus wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. That flash of anger I had because I couldn’t find someone to spend an hour and a half of their time fetching me isn’t something I’m proud to have felt. In the end the bus was a great way to get home, and made it so much easier for me to get picked up. I feel like a selfish fool now in retrospect for having had that sort of anger in the first place. I’m pretty lucky to have someone able to pick me up, even if they couldn’t make a longer trip. I of course am also lucky to have a place to go home, a car to pick up, the ability to take a vacation (while still getting paid!), and friends to enjoy my time with. Hopefully next time something like this happens I’ll keep all this in mind and just be more chill - after all the bus wasn’t so bad.