Friday, July 11

bus culture, part one

Last week, I took a long bus ride from Louisville, Kentucky to Danville, Virginia. What would have taken about 8 hours to drive took about two and a half times that on the bus. It was the cheapest way to go, though, if I bought the ticket 2 weeks in advance - just $55. I had a feeling from the time I purchased the ticket online that it was going to be a memorable journey.

My brother-in-law, sister, and nephew dropped me off at the downtown bus station. I got my ticket from the counter and waited, praying for any connections that God wanted me to make. I began to realize from the outset that I need to live more in the world, instead of separating myself from the world that these bus passengers live in.

I got two seats to myself on the first bus, sitting behind a cute 2 year old and her mom who each had a candy necklace. I kept getting sweet peeks around the chair from the little girl. Behind me, there was an army guy returning to his base.

Beside the army guy was a big middle aged white guy with a few teeth missing who told us that he extradites federal prisoners. He talks about the days when he drove trucks, telling us that he would drink RC for energy. The black guy in front of him turns around and asks,
"RC? How old you is? That was WAY back in the day!"

The extraditer goes on to tell us about his 22 year old daughter. Her 26 year old boyfriend and three kids have moved in with her. The extraditer doesn't approve of the relationship and so they aren't talking at the moment. The black guy in front declares that he is going to be "Dr. Phil on Wheels" and give him some advice. He says that he doesn't have any business messing with his daughter's life now that she's old enough to have her own life. His job is just to love her, not judge her decisions. Not bad advice, actually.

We all get off the bus in Nashville where I have a two hour layover. I say bye to the extraditer and start to think about dinner. The food in the "restaurant" at the station looks pretty sad, so I go outside to check out other options. There aren't any in sight, but one of the guys at the corner tells me if I walk up a few blocks, cross the bridge, and turn right, I'll find a McDonald's. I leave
my big backpack at the station in between rows of seats and pray that Jesus will be like my travelling partner and watch over my luggage while I go to get food. When I get back, after more than 30 minutes, it's still there. I feel his companionship and I know that he's answered my prayer!


mad4books said...

What are you doing in Danville? I used to live there!

Be sure to get ice cream at Bubba's and seafood from Libby Hill...but avoid the barbecue at Short Sugars! (It's made of PIG...and they put the cole slaw inside the sandwich...shudder. Somebody get a rope!)

Loved your bus ride adventure!

One Woman said...

I LOVE!!! this post. I love that you knew Jesus is/was your traveling companion. That is my prayer for me today. :)

On the bus note: This, too, reminds me of how I'd take a bus from Denver, where I lived, to Gunnison, CO. What was normally a 4-hour drive turned into an 8-hour bus drive. I loved the bus, and I think we could even smoke on the bus back then. Though that may be an inaccurate memory. $55 bus fair is not bad at all!

Love, Suz

lela said...

I posted this after I left Danville, so I didn't get a chance to try any of your recommendations. The only places I went to were Food Lion and Sam's for groceries for 90 people.

I joined the leaders of the youth group at my church for a long weekend of amazing worship with great people.