It only took me 26 years, but I finally made my way out of the country. (As I’ve told multiple people, cruises to Mexico and camping trips to Ensenada do not count.) I’m currently at Victoria Coach station in London, awaiting a bus to Newcastle (…upon Tyne? Is that the proper name?). The thing is, though, I wouldn’t be waiting right now had we not missed our 8am bus (it’s 9:01am). But that’s a whole other thing.
Anyway. The bus transfer cost £10. Wasn’t too jazzed about that. I’ve been reluctant to part with cash while I’m out here, primarily because the exchange rate isn’t particularly friendly (and I loathe foreign ATM fees). But after running myself into a dumb circle with a 13kg backpack in the aforementioned 33º weather trying to find the bus station, I had to take a step back.
I don’t really consider myself a control freak. I think, actually, that I’ve put in considerable effort to fashion myself as the opposite. Flexible. Easygoing. By and large unruffled by the travails of the world. But in spite of all that effort crafting a laid-back Personal Brand™, I was sitting there, in the Victoria Coach Station, completely bent out of shape over missing this bus. I was flustered. Frustrated. I started beating myself up over things that, in all honesty, didn’t matter. Yeah, we could have planned better. Yeah, we could have left five minutes earlier. Yeah, I could have meticulously planned out the streets we’d need to cross to avoid circling a stupid construction zone. I mean, we could have chartered a limo from the hostel if we really wanted to, but did any of that really matter?
As I sit here at a coffee shop in Newcastle, roughly 26 hours after arriving via the 930am bus, I’m pretty sure that I’m exactly zero percent worse off. Okay, maybe I’m £10 worse off. But in the grand cosmic scheme of things, that rounds down to, well, exactly zero. So why did I let myself get so worked up?
I’d like to write it off as prudence, or some kind of attempt to control what I can. But I guess at a certain point, things slip out past that threshold (whether that was because of something you could control or not). Maybe I could borrow from my theory on “having a safe flight”: once I get on that aircraft, it’s all out of my hands. Going down midway through? Not too much I can do about that once the plane leaves the tarmac. I guess there’s a bit more to that than I had thought.
An Eastern European(?) man just made racecar noises as he picked up his luggage. Ah! Just checked their bus’ destination - Romania. I’d edit out that question mark above, but this blog is LIVE, baby. Also, I can hear Kendrick and SZA’s “All The Stars” faintly from outside. Cool.
There are pigeons inside the station. Makes sense, given how it’s currently about 33ºF outside. I do not envy the pigeons who have not had the good fortune to find themselves in this less-cold-than-outside bus station. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t really envy any pigeon, regardless of the fortuitousness of their temperature situation.
Megabus is really the most clutch transit option for discerning (read: broke) consumers, such as myself. The wifi wasn’t even half bad.