Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a regular feature where we share people’s worst experiences at the worst places. This week: the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, a chaotic spiraling miasma of exhaust fumes and barf.
At some point in our lives, each of us will board a bus and sit there for a very, very long time. This is unavoidable, a rite of passage everyone goes through repeatedly, particularly the young and the broke. It helps if you’re not prone to getting carsick, if you don’t have a particular aversion to brushing forearms with strangers, if you don’t need your mode of travel to be, uh, squeaky clean. Look, we all have to get places.
Grim Yelp reviews of bus rides can be divided into three broad categories: terrifying, disgusting, and, best of all, What Just Happened? As always, to protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we’ve redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic.
You’ve all been on a bus. You know what this is. Let’s get to it:
Bitching won’t get you through the zombie apocalypse, sir:
I’m no scientist, but I bet I can tell you what the brown liquid was.
As we boarded we were all a bit confused, but I am surprised we didn’t start a riot when we realized that this bus not only had been resurrected from a 1970s junk yard, but also had some sort of brown liquid emanating from the bathroom and no AC. I thought that if they took the trouble to resurrect it, it should at least be running well, but that wasn’t the case either—a mysterious noise caused us to stop on the side of the road at different points, but the driver couldn’t figure out what it was. I think we were all relieved, and a bit surprised, when the bus finally came clanking into NYC...
From a scenic, odiferous bus trip through North Texas:
I am all about public transportation and getting to read or sleep, while saving on fuel and cost, and helping the environment. I have to say - the bus I took from Dallas to Austin was clean and relatively comfortable, and people mostly seemed to keep to themselves (except for this guy behind me who kept trying to talk to me). HOWEVER - once the bus started, there was this awful, putrid smell coming through the vents! At first, I thought it was somebody, but everyone started to look around and complain. It smelled like body odor + filth + dead animal.
I’ve smelled some bad smells before, but this was really unbearable - and there was no way to open the windows or let any fresh air in. My lungs started feeling agitated, and I tried to cover my nose the entire way to Waco (the halfway point). Besides being unbearable, I was genuinely concerned for my health and did not want to develop some sort of lung condition as a result. I had to call my friend to come pick me up halfway from Austin because I could not take another 2hrs of that foul air. I had the money to pay for gas the rest of the way, but I am sure there were people on that bus with no other option but to stay on until their destination - and some were scheduled to be on another 8hours! I complained to the bus driver and all he said was “I told you not to sit in the back of the bus!” Surely [Bus Company] can do better than this.
In a way, though, it’s kind of impressive to barf that copiously?
It felt like the longest, most disgusting and unsafe trip EVER due to the circumstances. The restroom was coated in crusty dried chunks of vomit (door, walls, toilet, everything!), completely uncleaned for many many hours (and it was early in the morning when we boarded)!
Also in the puke vein, this is a reasonable response, if not the most courteous:
Megabus Bad Experience #721 - “The Vomiting Lady”: At the beginning of the 5 hour ride from A2 to Chicago, the lady in front of us promptly leaned over and vomited into the aisle. She then, not wanting to be stuck by the rancid smell, stumbled to the back of the bus to get a fresh seat, leaving her vodka bottle on her old seat and everyone else to deal with the odor for the next 5 hours.
Yeah, this is the actual worst, though:
The best part of this last review is how exceedingly matter-of-fact it is:
Well I had a fun wait. At least this predictably late bus was early. I walked up at 12:50am ish and heard a lot of gunfire in this seemingly dead downtown area. Let’s see-waited outside of the gas station on the seat. A guy drove up to me, clearly checked me out, deciding if he wanted to kidnap me maybe? Then 5 cop cars race by. Then a man walks up to me, real nice. On the phone in spanish he was talking about hurry up hurry up come get me. Then 6 cop cars pull up to flash their lights on me. They call the phone dude by name and tell him he is supposed to be in prison for murder. I’m 1 foot from him, great. So I’m trying to walk around gingerly around all the cops on my tip toes saying I’m waiting for the bus. Then I talk to the super nice BP dude who tells me that I should stay inside. Bus showed up while I was in the bathroom of course. Thanks to BP for saving the bus for me. Lesson learned: research your bus depot before you decide to get a late pickup there. Daytime is probably fine. The office closes at 5ish so have fun sitting outside. Thank God I’m sitting on the bus now safe...I think.
Pretty grim! Until next time, just remember: The bus, like death, like taxes, like encountering other people’s barf, is inevitable. Happy travels.
Image via Shutterstock, Grim Yelp-ified by Bobby Finger. Grim Yelp Image by Jim Cooke