Day Five – The Skinny Dog

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Once a month almost every month since I started going to university when I was 18, I’ve taken a Greyhound home. My parents call it “The Skinny Dog”. Basically from September until I move back home in May, I’m on a bus going home. That was the deal that I made with my mom when I first decided to attend Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC rather than go to TRU which was closer to home. It was a weaning process for everyone in my family. For the first time in my life, I was away from home, my mom, my dad and my sister who I’d never been separated from for more than a week at a time. So Greyhound trips home were necessary.

Here are some of my most memorable trips to date:

  1. My very first trip home – On this trip a girl from my dorms and I had to go and scout out where to find the Greyhound and Google took us to the one in Coquitlam which is actually the harder one to get to. But once we found it, we knew where to go and what to do, so that was ok. What made this trip memorable was the fact that I’d only been gone from home for three weeks and I was already heading home. I’ll admit to being homesick, but the hardest part was being away from my sister. Growing up we’d never been apart for long and had spent the last year playing volleyball, basketball, softball and netball together so we were used to having each other around. The sad part was, I was used to my sister as a teammate and not a sister while she was used to me as a team captain…so our new rolls as sisters with a solid 400km between each other sucked. So I wound up on a bus home to watch her play in her first volleyball tournament of the season and whoa! That was a creepy trip. I fell asleep on the bus and woke up to something touching m feet. I didn’t see anything near them so I fell asleep again and woke up to the same something touching my feet and it was a gross old man who told me that I had nice feet and asked if he could just touch them a while longer. I got up and moved to a more crowded part of the bus.
  2. After I broke up with my boyfriend – This trip happened because I’d just broken up with my boyfriend and had forgotten my dorm key at home. Plus I was broken hearted and wanted my mom and dad so I got on the next bus available that was going my way. It was the 7pm bus which put me on the Greyhound during the creepy hours where only creepy people travel. I spent most of the trip curled up in my two seats and trying to sleep…until some old guy who was sitting near me saw that I looked sad and asked me why. I told him why and he opened up his arms and said “That’s too bad. Let Old Roy give you a hug.” It was creepy and I wound up staying awake for the rest of the trip home.
  3. When I got home from Mexico – I went to Mexico for a week when I was 21 and it was a freaking blast. But then I got home and realized how cold BC is when you’re used to the boiling temperatures of another country. So there I was, dark as I could possibly be, in my shorts and tank top and I had to make my way from the Vancouver Airport to the bus station in Vancouver to head home for the weekend to finish packing for school. I was cold, I kind of smelled and there was this little kid on the bus that wouldn’t stop screaming. So I started to scream back and he shut up. I think he was stunned that someone was actually reacting to his antics. He fell asleep shortly after and I still kind of smelled.
  4. Shortly after the stabbings happened on a Greyhound – This wasn’t memorable because of the trip. This was memorable because it happened just after the guy stabbed those people on the Greyhound out East. Naturally people were on edge and security was really tight. I was going home for a long weekend and had a vibrator with me. Plus I was involved with someone at the time so my shoulder bag had a number of condoms, single packaged lubricants and a pair of hand cuffs in it. My hiking bag had its normal set of clothes in it as well, but more or less the security guard got one hell of a shock when he went snooping through my bag, pulling out all of its contents and wound up dumping out my collections of condoms and lube along side my handcuffs as well as a two text books from school and my birth control. All I could do was look at him, shrug and say “What an I say? I like to be prepared.”
  5. The girl that tried to jack my swag – I was on my way home for my birthday one year (I think it was for my 22nd) and I was on a really full bus and actually wound up giving up two seats to myself so a mother and her three year old daughter could sit together. At this point I knew how to roll on the Greyhound so I had my snacks, my drinks, my pillow and a warm sweater all handy. Sadly this mom sucked as both a mom and a Greyhound traveler so she had nothing for her or her kid. We were half and hour into the trip when the kid got hungry so I shared my cookies and gave her one of my bottles of water. Then she was bored and being a brat so she screamed a lot while her mom did nothing. Eventually she got tired but couldn’t find a comfy way to sleep so I gave her my Doodle Bear “Zoodle” to use as a pillow. She kept Zoodle for the rest of the trip and when we arrived in Kamloops, she tried to keep my bear. Not only had I gone the whole trip pillowless, but now she was trying to jack one of my favorite stuffies. I was having none of it and wound up snatching my bear back much to the screaming horror of the kid. However, it didn’t end there. Mom decided to shut her kid up, the kid had to have the bear back and tried to say I was stealing her child’s toy. Or at least that was the story until I asked her why there was a penis drawn on it’s butt (A left over from a strange friend) and why kind of mother she was to let her kid have a toy like that. In the end, I got my bear back and the kid kept on screaming.
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