“HOW do I get to Boston?,” I asked my good friend Cris who was hosting me on the visit.
“There’s the bus or the train,” he said.
Years have passed since the first invitation was extended. So on the next chance I was visiting the Land of the Free, plans got rolling to get my butt to Boston. On the final leg, a glitch came—in the form of a raging storm. Of course, I was to be blamed for bringing it with me like it was part of my planned wardrobe that was unleashed when I snapped my suitcase open. The internet booking was to be made on his side since electricity was non-existent where I was. This was the chance to escape the storm’s aftermath (but circumstance was like a prankster turning back the power on the eve of my departure. Ha-ha, very funny.)
The train from Penn Station would be a wiser choice, faster and convenient, but I took the express bus instead (a more affordable option). Four hours was fine plus I get to see the countryside as a bonus, I wasn’t in a rush anyway. From the NY Port Authority Bus Terminal, where the Greyhound and Peter Pan buses take off, I hopped on one by noon. ETA in Boston is four hours after. I am excited.
Although Cris regularly comes home to Davao where we manage to catch up, I haven’t really seen him in the place where he calls other home.
Finally, I will get to see him in his own turf.
The bus driver runs his vehicle like a pilot. Before departing, he announced, “Fasten seat belts.” As we emerged from the dark basement to the NYC daylight, he continues with his script of do’s and don’ts—free wi-fi on board, keep all mobile phones on silent, no phone calls, respect the other passengers who want to sleep rather hear you yack on the phone, etc., injecting humor to his spiels delivered in a monotone voice like no taking of pictures while on board. That last part wasn’t funny at all.
What was funny was I only got the joke half an hour later.
The drive to Massachusetts took us through Connecticut where a quick stop was made for refreshments (of course it wad to be a fast food joint, so what else is new. Luckily, I had some of Nuhma’s “happy” (read: organic, healthy ingredients) cookies stashed in my bag. It was halfway the journey.
The ride was quite scenic. The shift of seasons afforded a beautiful view of the lush greenery changing its color, the lakes looked serene and the blue sky provided the perfect backdrop for the setting—all these appreciated on times I was awake. Long drives make me sleepy.
It was sunset when I finally reached Boston. The setting sun against the concrete skyline made the perfect welcome for a first time visitor. Welcome to Boston.
“So this is your home,” I told Cris when he took me for a quick ride around town before celebrating my first time in the city in a Chinese restaurant. “This is the place for me. I don’t see myself settling in another place in this country,” Cris said. I can’t wait to see the rest of it.
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