Sunday, December 23, 2012

Why indeed

"Did you know you can take a flight on Southwest for $50 one way?" my Mom asked. 

"No thanks," I replied.

"But it is only an hour flight, and probably is about the same as you paid for the buses," she said.

"Yes, but I would still rather take the bus," I replied.

"Why?," she asked puzzledly.

Why indeed.  From a rational, linear standpoint, which my parents often hold, it would make no sense to opt for an 8 hour bus trip over a 1 hour flight, especially if the costs are about the same.

So I will offer the reasons of why I did, and feel I made the right decision:

-I have taken roughly 15 flights in the last 6 weeks, and flying the friendly skies of Absurdistan makes you weary.  Contrary to what the airlines tell you, real miles are earned far lower to the ground.

-The chance to have a slice of possibly the finest New York pizza at Pizza Suprema, which a fellow named Colin Hagendorf considered the best in Manhattan.  Colin tried a slice of cheese in every pizza place in New York, and only Pizza Suprema received a perfect rating.  As one who has tried a semi-similar quest to find the stinkiest of the stink tofu in Taipei, I can respect the hunt for quality.

I can't say I disagree with Colin's call.  The crust was perfectly crispy and firm yet  not overly so.  The sauce had a tangy sweetness.  The cheese was ooey-gooey and it came at the perfect temperature as to threaten pizza burn but leave the roof unscathed.

-To see the demonstration outside Macy's against fur, with disgusting pictures and strange looking dolls of shorn marmots.

-For the utter joy of riding the New York subway, which is always a show.  6-year old Chinese piano prodigies playing Beethoven.  A fetid homeless fellow chatting away with himself.  I watched a Subway sanitation worker slip the self-talker a few bucks.  She wished him a Merry Christmas, and I was reminded of what we all live by.

-For the frenetic pace of Chinatown, and a reminder of why I miss the East.

-For the pure, unadulterated joy of 8 hours of reading, writing and swimming through my own head while staring out the flat screen that is life seen through the bus window.


John Brown said...

In my younger days I used to take a Greyhound bus from Concord, New Hampshire to Mexico City. Also, I took a bus in '74 from Tehran to Istanbul -- it was full of drugged- out Germans returning from Afghanistan. The bus driver would regularly spray the passengers with eau de cologne. But guess what? No TSA third-degree.

Paul Rockower said...

Concord to DF! That is a trek I can respect! My longest bus ride was from Jakarta across Sumatra. It took 54 hours. All the passengers were smoking clove cigarettes. The bus had a/c so all the windows were closed.

And yes, the TSA is a factor I forgot to include. All the poor Dellas are now on a watch list, and every flight are getting extra special treatment. The fiddlista was on a flight yesterday from Nashville to Spokanistan, and she had 1.5 hours of searching and grilling.

The other factor I forgot to mention: holiday time at the airports. After perusing facebook, and reading of all the flightmares, I definitely think I made the right call.