A Bus Ride to Remember

Spew some holiday cheer this year through travel

Writing Irish | Megan McCormack | November 24, 2015

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The holiday season is well upon us at Notre Dame, and the recent snow has certainly cemented this fact.  For many students, this also rings in the season of long travels, and I am no exception.  For the first time in my years at ND, I am going home for Thanksgiving.  I’m as bummed as anyone to be missing another snowy Thanksgiving, but I admit that sun and family have their allure.  However, travelling home by bus and by plane is not always the most fun-filled experience; last year in particular reminded me why I kind of hate travelling.  The following tale might be something to keep in mind while travelling for Thanksgiving and Winter Break.  Or if you don’t have to travel far, this might just be a great read for laughing at the misfortunes of others.  There really isn’t any moral here, other than maybe trying to avoid strangers on public transportation as often as possible.

I should have known the trip would not end well when getting a ticket became an ordeal that included phone calls and cancelled departure times.  In a stroke of genius, I was trying my best to create a win-win situation; I had decided to take advantage of a bus service (that later on I found out may or may not have been operating under regulation) that would donate money to a local homeless shelter while giving me a cheaper ticket price.  But when two successive attempts at securing a bus trip failed, I resigned myself to a bus ride that would get me to the airport four hours earlier than I needed to be.  At that point I felt like I had put in too much effort to not stick with it.

My next mistake was taking my usual window seat when I got on the bus.  While I do love watching the stunning views of nature between South Bend and Chicago roll by, this pleasure was not worth giving up the liberty of an empty seat next to me.  As the bus filled up, a guy dropped into the seat next to me.  Actually, it might be better to say he staggered into it.  I’m no super sleuth, but it was a Friday morning and he seemed to really be struggling a bit, and from these clues, I have made a tentative deduction that Feve may have gotten the best of him the night before.  I scooted closer to the window and chewed moodily on my Einstein Bros. chocolate chip bagel.

For a majority of the ride, I found my window seat worth it.  I looked out the window at the enthralling fields of farmland we were passing.  I pretended to nap.  (I’m bad at napping.)  And it was while I was pretending to nap that disaster struck.  Through the fog of half-fake-sleep, I heard a splattering noise and felt something liquid hit my left leg.  At first I thought that the kid next to me had spilled the complimentary water bottle he had been given when he got on the bus (so many perks!), and I swiped at my leg without looking.  Then I actually did look at this guy, and I saw that he was hunched over in his seat, forehead resting on the back of the seat in front of him.  And there was more liquid spilling onto the ground.  But it wasn’t coming from a water bottle.  It was coming from his mouth.

Yes.  This guy had vomited on my leg.  And I had touched it.

Cue the internal screaming.

Through the heroic efforts of the people on the bus around me, paper towels and hand sanitizer were found.  But I had to travel for the rest of the day in leggings with dried puke on them, and that was a somewhat unpleasant thought.  Thankfully, most of the vomit seemed to have been made up of water from the complimentary water bottle.  Silver linings!

This whole experience left me really questioning some things about the universe.  For some girls, a strange boy sits next to them on the bus and the next thing you know they’re having a whirlwind romantic adventure that could have been written by Nicholas Sparks.  For me, a boy sits next to me on the bus and literally vomits onto part of my body.  I feel like that might be indicative of something in my life, but maybe that’s taking things too far.  At any rate, happy holidays Domers!  Here’s to hoping no one vomits on your leg at least for the rest of the year.