Do Not Put Your hands Up For Detroit!
Chicago Travel Blog› entry 12 of 42 › view all entries
So, we are now in Chicago!
We left the hostel in Ottawa at 1pm on Monday and caught the bus to the Greyhound Station. We got on the Greyhound bus at 2.30pm and arrived in Toronto at 7.30, a five and a half hour journey. Our next bus wasn't until 1am so we went the Le Commensal for dinner, it's a vegetarian buffet place that charges based on plate weight.
After dinner we still had a couple of hours to kill which we didn't want to spend just sitting in the station so we went to the cinema and watched a very odd film called Normal. It was another strange offering made in Canada (the first being Juno).
After, we went back to the station and got on our second Greyhound bus of the day. This one took us to Detroit, where at 5.30 am Tuesday morning we had to haul our weary (and my unslept) selves off the bus to troop in the border control office. Which is where we proceeded to get grilled by a very large, grumpy Homeland Security officer who had clearly gotten out of the wrong side of the bed that morning. She humphed that we hadnt filled out a visa waver form (the guy that we got our tickets from at Toronto assured us that we had to fill them out at the border control). She humphed when I told her I worked at a storage company then had to explain that technically I was unemployed as I'd quit to travel, she got very snotty with Rachel when she answered the question “what is the purpose of your visit?” with “travelling”. apparently that doesnt tell her why we are there so I had to clarify that we were tourists. She also gave me a very dodgy look when I said that we were girlfriends. But we were eventually aloowed to reboard the bus, which took us about a hundred yards to the terminal.
We walked into the terminal and almost walked straight back out. It was full of what looked like homeless people and drunks. On closer inspection it turned out to be filled with an assortment of travellers, shady characters and drunks. Yay for Detroit(!) The bus had arrived earlier than anticipated so we had sit, most of the time trying to avoid eye contact and clinging to us bags to make sure they werent stolen, for two hours until we could board our third bus at 8am to take us to Chicago. While we were waiting in the queue for the bus a woman that had travelled from Toronto on the same bus as us asked the driver of the Chicago us where he was headed, he answered Chicago and went back to the paperwork he was fillingin. She then asked if he went to somewhere else (I didn't hear where as she mumbled and had a weird accent). the bus driver said yes he stopped there on the way. the woman then said something sarcastic, that then he should of said Chicago and ...where ever the place was. The driver didn't take kindly to this and they proceeded to have a bit of a barney, with the rest of us bone tired souls just willing her to shut up so we could board the bus and continue our already very long journey. We eventually got on the bus, sat down, and watched in silent disbelief as the woman that had just had an argument with the driver get on and virtually demand this poor lady move from her seat at the front of the bus so she could sit there instead. Her reasoning was that she was getting off the bus before she was. the woman moved, to a seat directly behind the drivers window, which this stupid woman had refused to sit in, even though she had said “I could fit in that seat if I wanted to”, only to have the driver get on a minute later and tell her she had to move! Detroit is not a nice place to be!
We eventually arrived in Chicago at 3pm, 25 hours after we left the hostel in Ottawa! The good part is that we have booked into a hotel instead of a hostel for the next three days so we get privacy and much needed solitude for a bit. As well as a pool!!