Chinatown Travelers Should Quit Complaining: A Character Study


As Chinatown bus services find new ways to cut into Greyhound’s bottom line (and the travel war continues to rage), one thing is becoming increasingly clear: the discount service is being overrun by a less savvy and adventurous type of traveler. I know, because I’m in the middle of it.

I left work an hour ago and arrived 20 minutes early for a 2pm bus. I went to the location as instructed, asked if I was in the right spot, and listened carefully as the ticket agents issued instructions. Now, here I am: on as bus every bit as good as Greyhound wandering the internet on free wi-fi while I stretch my legs in an extended seat. And the walk-up price to DC was only 20 bones! So why have I heard nothing but complaints all afternoon? After the jump, a list of the culprits and what these noobs don’t seem to know.

1. The Guy that Shouldn’t be on Any Bus: While I’d take the Chinatown bus sometimes-frantic curb pick-up over the grime and glut of Port Authority any day, there’s always someone who doesn’t seem to understand that price and quality aren’t necessarily intertwined. “There’s no leg room!” ‘Does this driver know what he’s doing?” Why’s everyone pushing to get on the bus?” Stop acting incredulous. This is what riding a bus, any bus is all about.

2. The Constant Complainer: “Why’s it taking so long” is the adult equivalent of “Mom, are we there yet?” A driver can only go as fast as traffic allows, and yelling at him only slows everything up. Maybe they think more expensive bus lines are equipped with wings?

3. Mr. Out of His Element: This guy would be fine if he’d just go with the flow. But, instead of quietly wait and watch, he’s decided the whole scene is “insane.” As such he’s psyched himself out. His solution: walk around and worry out loud. Not only is it annoying, but he makes it harder to hear when the call actually goes out. Of course, everything goes smoothly, the bus is on time, and he pushes to the front without a problem. That doesn’t stop him from “I’m never doing this again.” Please don’t.