There are few times I can recall when riding in a coach bus for any amount of distance didn’t haunt me before it started.
I used to take the Fung Wah from NYC to Boston. But after multiple bus fires and crashes, they were forced to shut down last year.
I had realized that I had every right to question how safe a $15 bus ride is long before this happened, though.
In 2010, I upgraded to Peter Pan Bus Company. Not bad for the NYC to Boston trip. Also, it was a notable upgrade from the Fung Wah (enough to justify spike in price, anyway.)
When I went back to America, for three weeks in April, I needed to make the most of my time. I had heard for years that the Dartmouth Jitney (Coach) was a great way to make the trip from NYC to New Hampshire. The DC travels from just outside Grand Central Station to Lebanon and Hanover, New Hampshire in about 5 hours.
Trust me, if you’re trying to get to northern NH, you don’t want to take a bus to Boston and have to switch over to another route all the way up north.
I knew that riding in a coach created to shuttle wealthy NYC kids to and from Dartmouth was going to be a different experience, but I had no idea that it would resemble that one time I got upgraded to first class on Delta.
The seats were leather and cushion.
There were outlets on either side of my seat.
There was loads of leg room (which at five feet tall is still a luxury.)
There was a coffee bar.
Best of all, though, by far, were the other passengers.
Women aged 45-70 who live between absurdly priced pieces of real estate in Hanover and Manhattan and like to slum it on the Coach after a weekend of upper-class debauchery.
I don’t watch any of the “Real Housewives” shows, but I’m willing to bet the ladies on the Coach could fit in nicely with that lot.
Also, the producers of the Housewives franchise should definitely look into a Real Housewives of Hanover series. I would be petty and hilarious for so many reasons.
First off, they knew the driver by name as they addressed him while handing off their Louis Vitton bags to him.
The driver played along by showing a “genuine” interest in their weekend activities.
“So… what did you ladies get up to this weekend <fake laugh>?”
“Oh, it was a quiet one. Just a bit of shopping, the theater, brunch, and anal bleaching!”
Okay, I made that last bit up. But did I? Really?
Don’t worry. I’m gonna wrap this up.
My bus ride was at 7:45 am on a Monday morning, so I was hoping it would be quiet.
And it was quiet. The ladies of leisure took to a separate rows of seats, put their feet up, and blocked out the daylight (and land transportation energy field) by covering themselves with designer eye masks and pashminas.
Except for that one lady, who was doing yoga poses across from me in her Lululemons unapologetically.
If you wear leggings that cost more than my entire outfit (including my shoes), there’s just no way we’ll ever understand one another. I don’t care how much we both enjoy fitness.
We may have been sharing a bus, but we certainly don’t live in the same world.
To be honest, the entire bus ride felt like an anthropological experiment.
I didn’t make eye contact with the other subjects or disturb their natural habitat and because of that, I got to experience why the other half will voluntarily travel by coach.
For an extra $125, you can probably avoid this:
But not this:
The choice is yours.