So yesterday I swallowed my snobbery and took a Greyhound bus from Montreal to New York City. I am not a fan of buses. They are uncomfortable, crowded and often smelly. Suffice to say, this wasn’t so bad (though I knocked myself out via the lovely Gravol for most of it). But there were two notable happenings:
First, at the border, an American border patroler came on the bus and instructed us to get off and bring our stuff inside the building for inspection: “Take all your Celine Dion CDs or beaver hats and get off the bus”. It was just mildly offensive. Then inside they grind you so hard you start getting nervous.
“Where were you born?”; “Do you have a job?”; “Concordia? What do you study?”; “Whats your address?” “Why are you going to New York?”; “How do you know your friends there?”; “What do they do?”
Half-out-of-it due to the Gravol, I couldnt handle her hard boiled and fast paced tactic. My answers were slow and they didn’t seem impressed. But after showing her enough IDs and batting the best “I’m just a kid” eyes I had in me, they let me into America. But not after making me claim the seven carrots I had in a ziplock bag.
Then, on the bus.. a woman I thought was cleverly dressed up for Halloween was wearing a hat that said “Jesus is my boss” and a sweatshirt with a giant cross on it. But no. An hour into the busride, she starts walking up and down the aisles handing out pamphlets for whatever religious cult she belonged to. I stupidly told her off, which made her even more interested in saving me on “Satan’s day”. Finally, someone else complained and the bus driver announced on the intercom for her to sit down. But that didnt stop her from soliciting any new person that got in in Glen Falls or Saratoga Springs. And the weirdest thing was.. Some people seemed into it.
I felt safe in the secularity of New York City once I got here, but small town America scares me, save for watching “Friday Night Lights“. There is a distinctive difference between small town Canada and small town America and I can’t quite pinpoint it. It just feels different.