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Greyhound - welcome to the twilight zone

Posted by Acis , 13 June 2017 · 2,088 views

Just before leaving for the station I looked up some information about Greyhound at gregs place, I already booked 5 trips with them at this point. For comparisson let me tell you about Flixbus first. Flixbus is a German company that offers low fare bus rides between european cities in Germany, Poland, Belgium, France, Denmark, The Netherlands and probably more countries.

The busses are clean, theyre on time, offer wifi, have power outlets, a bathroom and nice seating. Their online booking system is straightforward and its staff is friendly and even took me and my friends with them once in the wrong bus because we were at the wrong station, no fuss no extra charge! The clientelle are mostly students, seniors and those that just need a quick ride between cities without the price and hassle of the airport. An 8 hour ride between Berlin and Amsterdam only cost me 25 euros, for comparrison the 2 hour train ride from amsterdam to maastricht cost me 30 euros. I figured that Greyhound offered similar busses at a slightly higher fare, and thus booked a bunch of rides with them thinking Id get the Flixbus experience.

I was wrong.

My first warning were the strict 1 / 5 star reviews on their website. The complaints: Non existant customer service, difficulty booking tickets for others and lack of information and ways to print their ticket at stations. Luckily these did not apply to me, I was smart enough to book online and print in advance. Other complaints were about rude and unhelpfull staff, lost luggage and overbooked busses (tickets apparantly do not guarantee you a seat or a spot in the bus...). The promised wifi and power outlets werent always there, the seats were often trashed and the less said about the bathroom the better. What had I done!

In the station itself I was met by a rag tag group of travelers. I asked a guy my age of I was in the correct line. He replied we were, and told me I should get a bag label. He also asked me if I wanted to sit next to him, I accepted his offer, he looked nice enough and the line was long enough to almost guarantee that you had to sit next to someone. After getting my bag label and changing my ticket to a correct one (apparantly this was /yesterdays bus/ what the actual fuck) I got back in line, the ticket guy was friendly enough tho. My seat mate introduced himself as Joey and casualy mentioned he had been stranded for 24 hours on this station because his bus didnt go, he never got to know why.

By the time I got to the front of the line I still had my checked in luggage. After giving my ticket to the driver I walked around until I found the baggage loader. He looked at me kind of pissed of, sighed and took my luggage without saying a word. Boarding the bus Joey had found us some seats next to the handicapped spot. Heres a description of my neighbours:

In front of me Mr and Ms Shush. Before the bus left Ms Shush felt the need to tell me she said weird shit in her sleep. then 10 minutes later she told Joey and I to keep our voices down. She would do this 3 more times before we stopped bothering talking, Joey decided to try and sleep instead. Mr shush never said a word, but both of them went outside every chance they got to smoke anywyas. Not sure why they wanted quiet time of they didnt want to sleep.

Next to me wheely and the beanstalk. A woman in a wheelchair with a very visible catheter and urine bag below it. Next to her a skinny guy ten years older than her. I spoke a bit with the woman and she was really friendly, and ended up being 27 years old like me. The couple also had a dog with them. The poor fucking thing didnt once go out during a break, Im surprised it didnt pee or take a shit during the 11 hour ride. Beanstalk spent the first 3 hours of the trip repairing his backpack with tape and a lighter.

Behind the wheelchair people was a dumbass that managed to lose her cellphone or get it stolen. The whole bus got to enjoy her complaining while she barely looked around. She started offering people $20 if they found it. She lost it while she pretended she was asleep laying down on 2 seats so she didnt get a person next to her. Im unsure if she got it back or not, but at some point an overly friendly guy with a face tattoo tried to sell her his totally not stolen spare phone. What did surprise me is that Ms Shush not once bitched at her to be quiet.

Behind me a mother and child. The kid a 10 year old with a buzzcut and what I can only describe as "crazy eyes". Probably ADD as well judging by the way he talked and acted. The mother would also not shut the fuck up, she looked fairly typical except for the buzzed sides of her head and long hair on top. Krazy Kid helped miss cellphone out by running around the bus with a flashlight and crawling under seats at 1 A.M.

Joey is also an interesting guy, he likes hiking, camping, hitching rides on freight trains, not having a job and home made tattoos. Later I also spotted some interesting marks on the inside of his elbow that probably werent from vacinations. They didnt look fresh tho so whatever. He was very friendly otherwise and I dont regret sitting next to him.

Our bus driver wasnt all that friendly either, gleefully mentioning that he had no issue leaving people behind if they spent to long outside at a smoke break stop.

At some point two more people entered the bus on a stop and had to stand for a while. One of them got a seat pretty fast, the other stood next to me and on my toes a few times foe a good half hour until miss cellphone decided to stop fake sleeping again, and he sat next to her.

The rest of the passengers I wont bother describing but you kind of get the picture. The bus itself had wifi, but my seat didnt have a power outlet. I didnt bother with the toilet but halfway in the trip I could smell it, mind you the toilet is way in the back and Im 5 rows from the front. The whole trip was long, smelly but I never felt unsafe. Anyways decide for yourself if you dare take greyhound. By the time of writing I took 2 more trips with them that were much more boring but also much better.

April 2021

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