(this is page two of letter to Greyhound Canada, regarding service on bus trip GLC 5407 from Calgary to Revelstoke, B.C.)
After being interrogated and searched, I reached the front of the boarding line. A man wearing an olive blazer took my ticket. His jacket was double-breasted, too large for him, and adorned with medals. I couldn't tell if the medals were from Greyhound, his tour in Nam, or someone else's tour in WWII.
Two hours into the ride, we stopped to let off some passengers. A large guy in a leather jacket and black ski hat stomped down the aisle. I'm guessing he was the Canadian equivalent of a gang-banger. He asked the bus driver who was standing outside, "Can I get off to get somethig to eat?"
Bus door closes abruptly.
Gang-banger: "He slammed the f&*%ing door in my face. What an assh*le."
Driver started bus. Gang-banger yelled something from the back. Bus driver stopped the bus and marched, medals a jingling, to the gang-banger's seat
Driver used his outdoor voice and made assorted rude, offensive, abrasive remarks to gang-banger and finally said: "Stop with the attitude or you're off the bus."
During the next hour, the driver used his PA system to make other remarks to and about the gang-banger. Gang-banger was quiet.
Eventually, the bus pulled into my stop, Revelstoke, B.C. Several people, Erik, and I got off the bus. Our bags were in the luggage compartment under the bus. No bus driver. We stood and looked at the luggage compartment. We looked around the bus stop. No bus driver. We had been trapped on a bus for six hours listening to ranting bus driver. We were not happy. I decided to open latch to luggage door.
"You break that door and I'll break you." It was the melifluous sound of the bus driver's voice. I grabbed my bag. I walked around the front of the bus. The bus driver was standing around smoking a pipe and chatting with some people who may or may not have been on the bus.
Me to bus driver: "You are rude."
Bus driver: "Keep it up and you'll never ride another Greyhound again."
My sentiments exactly.
The site for world travelers
Footnotes to readers regarding Greyhound's overzealous security:
- In 2008, a Canadian passenger pulled out a knife and cut the head off another rider. Murderer was found to be insane. Another possible explanation: an abrasive bus driver drove him insane.
- Canadian Ettiquette tip: When boarding a local Greyhound, always ask the driver: "Where you be heading, hey?"
- Canadian insult: "You must be from Calgary."