Most americans I meet give me really strange looks when I tell them that I like taking the Greyhound bus, but I like all the quirky experiences I get when I board the bus with the dog on the side.
“How many people got shot at the Greyhound station while you were there” said a friend of mine recently when I told her that I had spend a couple of hours waiting there. That reaction is pretty normal when I speak to most of my american friends as they mostly see the Greyhound as something you only take if you are a criminal or have no other choice than the bus. For me though, the Greyhound offers the chance to mingle with some quirky people I would otherwise not meet on my travels and I have so far never been harmed by any of them. In fact I have had a great time on almost every journey I have taken with the Greyhound.
Poor people are not dangerous.
I think that the main reason why many people are scared of the Greyhound is because it’s the poor persons transport in the US and most people in the US do not want to mingle with the bottom of society, as the difference between rich and poor is much greater in the US than in Europe for instance. But I find that they are just as friendly as the middle and upper class people I know in the US and like most other americans they are talkative and easy to meet. When you deal with bottom of society in the US, you will come across some people with mental illness and these people often seem scary to other people, but having worked several years as a hotel receptionist around the world have meant that I am used to dealing with people who are a little weird, so I am quite ok with these people who sit and talk to themselves or yell at the world. You also meet many minority people in the bus, such as native indians, afro americans and latin american emigrants. I love diversity and I like hanging out with them and chatting with them on the bus and at the bus stops and hear their stories. Talking to these people on my travels is more interesting than going around to see old buildings and monuments.
I normally dislike busses, but I like the Greyhound.
Normally I really dislike taking the bus as I find it boring and uncomfortable, but because the Greyhound offers such a diversity in people, the ride becomes an interesting journey, even if some of the people on the bus are a little nutty. I don’t like being only with people who are like myself and think like me and I sure meet some very odd characters when going with the Greyhound. I have taken many trips with the Greyhound over the years, including a 60 hour journey from Pittsburgh to Seattle and almost all of the journeys have been memorable.
But be ware that you are dealing with the bottom of US society.
Be aware though that Greyhound stations are often located in the worst part of town and if you arrive at night then try to be a little prepared as you might not want to wander around at night in the part of town where the Greyhound station is. I have seen a few crazy things at the Greyhound stations over the years, such as a bus driver being attacked by 4 angry passengers and I have noticed that many drug takers prefer to use the Greyhound cause they won’t be searched the same way there like they would if they were to board a plane. But again, I have never been harmed by any of those weirdoes. I don’t react aggressive to people who are acting weird to me and that usually means that I have zero problems with these folks.