Monday, 4 April 2016

Musings from a greyhound bus

Bill Bryson once wrote in his lost continent book I believe, that only the very poor travel on a greyhound bus. Those that can't afford microwaves and refrigerators and on one occasion described a trip into a city in the US as being with really bizarre people and an awful experience, coming from the UK and having had two pretty good experiences I never agreed with this until today.
I am currently on a bus from Niagara Falls back to Toronto which has windows so covered in salt (it is early April after all) that I can barely see out, I am not tired so not in a dire need to sleep for the duration of this trip, and am too cheap to use up my data all the way on the Internet. So I can peer through the grime at the outside whilst listening to someone who's sitting somewhere behind us have a loud conversation on his cell phone in what sounds like Swahili 

Why do people insist on making others sit through their loud conversations?!! I can't even wonder about his life and the current drama that's going on because I can't understand a word. I darent look back and glare because I am very aware of the guy that had his head chopped off with a machete on a greyhound bus a few years ago, an occurrence that I haven't thought about since then until this very moment. One seat back is someone listening to loud music in their headphones so we have the joy of listening to some nameless beat through their headsets. I hope they turn deaf early in life.

We just had an interesting night at Niagara. First off it's a place of two halves, it's really run down in one respect and completely commercialized In another. There's so much to see and do,at a price of course, from Ripleys believe it or not, to a casino or three, to  a bird kingdom that I am surprised people are even aware that stacks of water is rushing over a waterfall right next to them. 
It's super expensive here too, a caramel macchiato at Starbucks in the hotel lobby set us back $6.50. I made sure of whipped cream and extra caramel at that steep price. Dinner for the two of us, on a deal, was $186 after tax and tip.... I cringe at the $$$$ that have gone on eating this weekend, oh and cab fares... We took a cab to Canada #1 outlets that was clearly in the falling apart and closing down category. It got me to thinking..this is a tourist destination that's clearly an all year round affair where prices are steep for even coffee and there's always people visiting and yet it looks so on the verge of not being here anymore. I had wondered why house prices were so ridiculously cheap here online, now I know. From a living perspective the place is dire.

We did enjoy a great night in the marriot falls view hotel with a nice view (of the falls hence the name) and a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. The clerk told us that they had complimentary given us a room with a waterfall view like she was bestowing a great favour. I felt a little aggrieved at this comment as when I had selected the hotel I had painstakingly selected such a room and paid for it anyway. It wasn't a great start to my relationship with the hotel. It was freezing cold out too, so we weren't hugely excited about the prospect of wondering around outside finding eating spots and places to part with lots of money for souvenirs. 

Thank goodness that the dinner with its great $186 bill came with a nice view of fog and snowfall and a really decent waitress ( from Glasgow who had lived in Niagara for 17 years) I wanted to ask her about what it was like to live in such a place but decided not to in case she didn't share my view.

Same photos below of our trip, we had a great time in Toronto too, I will put that together in another post: