I want to go to Cardiff, Wales, while I’m in the United Kingdom. The train fare from London made my head spin: $83.50 to $131 each way.
Who’s for the MegaBus?
Yes, the MegaBus operates in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States and Canada. I’ve never taken it, but I just booked myself a ticket: The fare is $10.33. Round-trip.
This might very well be the British equivalent of “riding the dog,” and I’ve heard some pretty hair-raising tales of Greyhound bus travel. But since the trip lasts only a little over three hours I’m pretty sure I can cope.
There is no assigned seating so my plan is to get there really early and be one of the first ones in line. I want to sit as close to the driver as possible, in case the bus passengers there are like the ones I meet here in Seattle.
Once while taking the #174 bus from the airport to downtown I was sitting toward the back near some loud, loud guys. At one point when the driver slammed on the brakes we all heard a thunk! and then the sound of a bottle rolling around on the floor.
Moments later the smell of beer was apparent. Within a few minutes, the scent made its way to the front of the bus. The driver came back to fuss at the malfeasors but they claimed it wasn’t their bottle. No, it belonged to that guy who’d gotten off earlier.
The driver stomped back to his seat, muttering, “I shouldn’t have never been a bus driver.”
Caution: Bad language below
That little pause made me miss my connecting bus, the #358, by approximately one minute, according to the folks who were also waiting. The next one came half an hour later. During that time, I was mesmerized by the woman who leaned against the post office and had a long, long conversation with someone who wasn’t there. I mean a real conversation, complete with hand motions, exasperated expressions and even, at some points, moving her head around as though to follow an invisible person’s movements. Maybe her imaginary friend was pacing.
About 10 minutes into the 358 ride, there was a ruckus at a bus stop. Some guy bolted onto the bus, chased by a weaselly little guy with a mullet and a Tony Orlando mustache. “You asshole! You creep! Get back here!” he bellowed.
The driver started chanting, “Get off my bus. Get OFF my BUS!”
Meanwhile, Mr. Mullet was yelling, “You fat little cocksucker! Get back here! If I ever see you again, I’ll kick your ass, and that’s a promise, not a threat! Bitch! Cunt!”
“Get OFF my BUS! Get OFF my BUS!”
Finally, the Bad Language Bear left the #358, still sputtering with rage.
“Boy, how often do you see something like that?” another passenger marveled. “A guy who rips off a drug dealer and then escapes on the bus?”
The driver didn’t even look away from the road. “About 3 or 4 times a week, on this route.”
I hope he writes a book.