Tuesday, April 1st

I'm so overwhelmed with how much I have to write that I'm finding it difficult to start. I guess way to start is to just do it...

I woke up really late on Tuesday (probably somewhere around 2pm) and realized that I would never make it to the bus in time to catch the Fung Wah bus to New York. I was lucky Jen said she would drive me to Boston. She dropped me off at South Station where I had to find the bus terminal. First, I would like to say that I've seen many bus terminals in my days of traveling and I would gladly sleep on a bench overnight in the Boston bus station. It was so clean and nice-looking! I've never been in a bus station before where I wasn't somewhat afraid for my well-being. Strange.

I walked all the way to the last gate where the Fung Wah people were set up selling tickets. Let me first give you a little background on Fung Wah. It's a very cheap transportation company set up to run between New York's Chinatown and Boston's Chinatown. Apparently when they first started, they ran routes in vans, and most of the travelers had live chickens with them! So if you were one of the few non-Chinese travelers, you were crammed into a van with a bunch of chickens and their owners. It's not like that anymore, but I swear the back of the bus smells like they still transport chicken.

So anyway, I was on this incredibly smelly bus for a very long time. And because I'm somewhat OCD, I feel the need to always sit in the 3rd to last row on the left hand side. Of course it smells - it's right near the toilet.
The journey took 4 1/2 hours. I find this slightly ridiculous as it's only 200 miles. But whatever, I watched 10 episodes of Arrested Development on my iPod.

It was 12:30 in the morning when the bus stopped on a random street in the middle of Chinatown and let everyone off. There was nothing open. There was no station. There wasn't a subway stop. I was sort of confused - as I was expecting to be dropped off at Port Authority, being that we were on a coach bus. But really, they deliver from Chinatown to Chinatown - no matter if anything in Chinatown is open or not! I was making my way off the bus when the bus driver started screaming in Chinese at the few people left sleeping in their seats. I couldn't help but giggle.

I got off the bus, took a deep breath of the thick Manhattan air (didn't say that was such a good thing), and began walking. I figured as long as I kept walking I would eventually come to a subway station. The first block I came to had giant lions in front of a bank. This made me feel a bit calmer - I knew things would be okay. Just then, a pair of guys looking very lost came up to me and asked if I knew where the nearest subway was. I said I just got off a bus and figured if I kept walking in one direction I'd eventually see something I recognized or find a subway stop. They sort of looked at me odd and said thanks anyway. I continued walking for some time. It was a really nice night out so I didn't mind at all. I didn't see many people out and was reassured to see cops driving around every once in a while. That's one thing about NYC. I feel safer walking around the city at night than I do walking around parts of Milwaukee in the daytime. The American Society of Criminology ranked Milwaukee as the 36th most dangerous city in the US in 2007 - and New York City at 228th most dangerous. Yeah. That's right. Not to mention, NYC's crime rate has DECREASED by 77.2% in the last 12 years. Next time think twice about walking around Riverwest by yourself...

Okay, enough of that sidebar. I finally saw City Hall and got on the subway there. I had to wait 1/2 hour for the 'N' to go 1 stop to get the 'Q' (which I waited an additional 1/2 hour for). This whole time I was starving. I had forgotten to eat before I left Manchester, and since there was nothing open where I was walking around, I had no choice but to let my stomach eat itself.

While waiting for the 'Q' I noticed a teddy bear dressed in a tiger suit pinned up to a beam in the subway. Very interesting. I finally made it to Chaya's house at 2:30 in the morning, where she had already heated up a burrito for me and had the bed made. I gratefully ate and then fell asleep on the futon.

1 comment:

Trina said...

Wow, that's crazy about Milwaukee vs. NYC crime-wise. No wonder I always felt a little scared walking outside in Milwaukee - Riverwest, downtown, East side, pretty much everywhere creeped me out a little.