By Kenneth Justice
“Oh baby, I want kiss your lips, and I would wish you be on bus with me and we cuddle all night” he said
~ This past weekend I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota on the latest leg of my Drinking in the Culture Tour, my excuse to get away from the daily grind and experience coffee house culture all around the Western World.
After being on eight different planes in the past month or so I decided to mix things up and take the Greyhound Bus out of Chicago. I haven’t actually been on a long-term bus ride since a trip I made to Ireland many years ago and I thought it might be fun to experience a form of travel that I wasn’t very familiar with……and it was interesting to say the least.
Shortly after leaving the bus station the State Police pulled over the bus driver, I was sitting in the front row so I had a bird’s eye view of the entire exchange.
“Sir, do you know why we pulled you over” the short state police officer asked
“Uh, not at all officer, I was going five miles under the speed limit” the bus driver said. He was clearly annoyed as he didn’t believe he had been doing anything wrong.
The officer was well dressed and I could tell he was one of those stick-in-the-mud types, maybe I’m wrong but I swear he was on some type of power trip, “You weren’t speeding, but you were driving to close behind that blue van” the trooper said
“There was no blue van officer, there was a silver van, but no blue van” said the bus driver, he was now starting to get worked up.
“Regardless of the color, I wanna see your license” said the officer
As the bus driver handed the state trooper the paper work, the trooper began to step off the bus but suddenly turned around, “While I enter your license in the computer, you wouldn’t mind if my partner walked around the bus would you?”
The bus driver hesitated for a moment and then said, “Of course not, I’ve got nothing to hide”
The next thing I know the second officer is walking around the bus with a flashlight and checking through the bags in the overhead compartment and giving all the passengers the evil eye. After about 5 minutes of that, the first officer returns and says everything is fine, but they’d like to check the luggage bins outside of the bus. As I looked out the window I noticed a police dog; the kind they use to sniff for drugs. So that was what this was all about; the cops were doing a random drug stop, checking to see if any passengers on the bus had brought drugs aboard, most likely they were trying to catch a whiff of marijuana.
Eventually, after the cops couldn’t find anything they let us go; the bus driver was never given a ticket because presumably, he had never done anything wrong.
Because I don’t do drugs, that kind of thing doesn’t really bother me, but it was VERY strange to be in the United States and to be the subject of a random drug search; I’ve had that happen to me in Latin America but never in the U.S…….and it caused me to wonder what is happening to our country.
On my return trip to Chicago the older gentleman sitting behind me was on the phone with his girlfriend. He spoke very broken English, and because the volume on his speaker was pumped up to the highest decibel it wasobvious that his girlfriend only spoke English, the conversation sounded like something out of a Borat film,
“Oh, you beautiful woman. Me so glad to be coming see you. I wish to kiss you lips all day forever” the man would say repeatedly.
I’m not making fun of the man’s grammar, not at all. His English is far better than my Spanish and if you were to overhear me trying to carry on a conversation when I’m in Latin America I’m sure I sound pretty pathetic. But it was fascinating (albeit a little annoying) to hear a man of nearly 60 years old, so enthralled with this woman he had only recently met (yea, after they talked for an hour I pretty much couldn’t help but figure out their entire romantic history).
Sure, listening to lovers spell out their silly little romantic idioms to each other can be extremely frustrating to the innocent bystander like myself, but on the other hand I thought to myself; I hope that when I’m older I don’t become so jaded that I forget what it’s like to feel the same kind of emotions I did when I was younger. I had been searching for my ear phones for the better part of an hour and I can’t tell you how joyous I was to have eventually found them in my jacket pocket of all places; I soon drowned out the sound of Mr. Foreigner in love to the sounds of Nirvana blaring Smells Like Teen Spirit, and soon I was fast asleep.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society