The Megabus.

Here I am.  In Glasgow again.  Sitting in my little spot at the kitchen table.  I perch by the window and snoop on my neighbours opposite sometimes. when I’m bored of typing or my wrists start to hurt.  They don’t do anything particularly outrageous really. The neighbours, I mean.  Mainly washing up. Occasionally, cooking.I like to give a smiley nod to the woman that leans, smoking, out of her bedroom window when she appears in my eyeline.  I’m also convinced that another top floor neighbour whose house I can see into might be the guy that works in Stereo – but I can never be sure so I’m yet to wave and show him, oven dish in hand,  that thanks to the tasty menu options in his fine workplace, I now roast myself up some sweet potato chips at home. “Hey! Stranger! Thanks for introducing me to sweet potato fries!” It was raining earlier but there’s blue sky peeping through the clouds now.  In fact – hold on just a sec ’til I pop away and turn off the big light.  Don’t need it on now.  The sun’s streaming in.

All in all, it feels quite nice to be back.  We’re always pleased to return to our flat after a wee break away – the squishy carpet, the squishy cat…  We had a great time in London  though.  Was a fun trip – not to mention an eye-opening one.

The London Chronicles…

Tuesday:

The Megabus Trip to Mega Town

First up – a gripe.  Having travelled Megabus-style hunners now (it is, for us, the only way to travel) we’ve come to notice that of all the Megabus staff we encounter – in London, in Manchester, in Preston – the people who work for Megabus in Glasgow’s Buchanan Station are by far, the most unpleasant, rude, verging on (and sometimes explicitly) racist bunch of morons one could hope to avoid in life.  Ok – so we paid tuppence for two return journeys from one point of the country to the other…  And what?  I don’t suppose many customers book budget and expect red carpet, first class, top notch treatment, but jeezoh…  The abuse passengers quietly accept from these dicks is quite, quite bonkers. I think the phrase I’m searching for is Bully Boy Bawbags.  Yup – I think that about sums it up.  Nice one.  Mary Portas would have their guts for garters.

Never travelled by Megabus?  Here are my top tips for survival.

1.  Wear layers.  The Megabus will either be SO hot you think you might faint – or so cold that you turn blue and disembark unable to move your left shoulder.  I always take my woolly shawl with me as a compact – yet cosy emergency blanket. Oh – and I always make sure to have silky smooth armpits when travelling.  Not to increase my aerodynamic properties but incase I need to shed more layers than initially intended and end up sitting in my underwear.

2.  Don’t take your shoes off.  You will be tempted to.  But don’t.  There’s every chance your feet will swell up like sausages and you won’t be able to squeeze your tootsies back into your shoesies when you arrive at your destination.

3.  Break the journey up into little chunks – punctuated by meals and treats.  Travelling from Glasgow to London, the bus departs at 8.30am and arrives at 5.30pm.  Here’s the schedule:

8.30am – 9.30am:  Chitter chatter/outraged grumbling about how poorly you were just treated by the driver/controller + looking out the window.

9.30am – 10am:  Breakfast.  Pack something nice – a little treat.  You might need to travel like a hobo, but organising a nice menu will make you feel better.  Pan au chocolat, yoghurt and fruit are ideal.  Don’t drink ANYTHING with breakfast.  You don’t want to be running to the bathroom this early on.

10am – 12noon:  Read a little something.  I like to save up fancy magazines for a few months so I have a nice tidy bundle to work my way through in one go.  Megabus mornings are ideal times to get your nose stuck into some pretty publications.

12noon – 1.30pm: Watch a few episodes of your favourite tv show on your mobile phone/your fancypants friend’s mobile phone (ALWAYS take a headphone splitter with you).

1.30pm – 2pm:  Lunch time!  Your favourite sandwich + mini pasta pot and some more fruit will see you through for the next bit of the journey.  Lunch time is one of my favourite Megabus times.  Don’t pack anything smelly.  You don’t want to be the dick that pisses everyone off when they open their tuna salad/spicy chicken pitta pocket/cheese and onion Monster Munch.

2pm – 4pm:  It’s at this point Garry usually immerses himself in a movie while I pop on my headphones and dance/jiggle around in my seat, getting excited every time I spot a farm animal, primrose or truck driver.

4pm – 5pm:  Not to seem anti-social or to have other passengers think you’ve fallen out with your travel companion/you are being trafficked via Megabus against your will – you might want to engage in some chitter chatter.  Around this time you start to see little bits of London anyways so you have stuff to get giddy about.  If you’re thirsty, it’s now safe to have a little drink.

5pm – 5.30pm: By this time you are definitely driving through London.  Get your upbeat songs on, sit forward in your seat like a small child and gawp out of the window at the bright lights.  You will arrive in Victoria station.  Your legs may have seized up and you will probably have a headache.  You arrive just in time to catch rush hour mayhem.  To avoid, swing on into the Shakespeare – a hideous (and slightly smelly) bar just opposite the station.  Buy an expensive pint of lager and hide downstairs until the madness subsides.  If you can, get the bus to your destination – not the tube.

4.  When you notice the girl opposite you start to wrap a Mother’s Day gift up in a ripped up Tesco bag, you will want to laugh out loud.  Don’t.  Just turn to face the window,  open your mouth wide and kind of hold your breath until the hysterical urge passes.

5.  In the unfortunate event you need to use the ‘toilet and washroom’, go armed with a stock of proper tissue, hand sanitiser and something sweet smelling and skooshable.

6.  If a guy boards the bus during your stop in Preston, shouting a story involving any of/any combination of these things – daughter in a wheelchair, junkie, robbed, stranded – and essentially asking the bus to have a whip round in his honour – DO NOT GIVE HIM ANY MONEY.  Not even when he cries.  And he will. What a scamster!

Enjoy your trip.

4 thoughts on “The Megabus.”

  1. Oh the megabus… what an adventure that can be. A friend and I decided that it would be a good idea to visit another friend in Cardiff once, and so the most round about journey ensued. Edinburgh-Glasgow, Glasgow-Manchester, Manchester-London, London-Cardiff. We left about 6.30am and arrived about 11.30pm, megabussing it all the way. Certainly not the best day I’ve ever had!

  2. I got the megabus from Cincinnati to Chicago 2 weeks ago and it was ace! It was also jam-packed with business types in suits which was odd. Very civilised it was. Wish I’d read your layers tip beforehand mind you.

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