Right now, as I type, I am on a double decker “megabus” slinking down the wet grey streets of middle of nowhere Canada en route to the Buffalo Airport watching a tv spitting out “did ya know” facts about Looney Toons and Granula (the first breakfast cereal). Yes, there is wireless on this bus (I would recommend “megabus” if you ever have such an opportunity); we live in a beautiful age. Every winter break, reading week and at the beginning and end of the school year I have to make this 13+ hour trek back to California. Today, I woke up at 7am, wrote a final exam from 9 to about 10:30 (I finished early) and boarded this bus at noon. We’ll get to the Buffalo Airport at about 2:15 depending on traffic and how smoothly the whole border patrol thing goes (you and all your stuff must exit the bus, stand in line with your fellow passengers and approach a booth where a stern person in a blue jacket asks you “how long will you be in the United States” and “do you have anything to declare”. I never have anything to declare and they always look at me suspiciously, like I’m hiding cocaine in my bra or something. Regardless, people are sometimes stupid and this whole process can take a while. The longest I’ve seen it go is an hour). Once I get to the airport, I check my bag. This year my mother is making me take back the massive and poorly designed garment bag so as I can bring home the quilt she’s made me (I’m really very pleased about the quilt). Every time I go to the airport I have to play the guessing game in regards to the weight of my luggage. Over fifty pounds and I have to pay twenty five dollars (for what? the added exertion placed on the conveyor belt?). So then I eat something non nutritious, buy Cosmo and settle down for a good hour before my flight leaves (at 4:15).
Today, my layover is in Las Vegas. Usually I’m stuck in either the Las Vegas Airport or Chicago Midway for some period of time. Last year on my way back to Toronto I was stuck in the ‘ Vegas airport for six hours. I boarded my plane in Oakland and sat on the tarmack for three hours waiting for water to heat up. Apparently, there is an enviornmental code in California prohibiting the use of the anti freeze used on plane wings so we do it the old fashioned way. Needless to say I missed my connecting flight in good ole’ LV and was stuck. They have slot machines everywhere in the LV airport. It was pretty hellish. Today, hopefully I’ll only spend half and hour there. I will roll into Oakland at 9:10 in the evening. Factor in the time difference and I’ve just spent twleve hours traveling.
But you know what the worst part of the trip is? Saying goodbye to Nathan. Saying goodbye now just reminds me that I have to say goodbye in five months and then I cry because one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to do was get on that bus last May. I’m really not looking forward to repeating the experiance. But there is a best part–I am home and for all the torture above, home is worth it in every way.