I had a lot of time to kill at South Station.
My lesson was cancelled and I was depressed. It was snowing outside and I began the slow thawing process. South Station's Greyhound section leaves a lot to be desired. There's an imitation Dunkin' Donuts, an imitation Quiznos, and a newsstand/convenience store that has about 3 feet of walking space. I laughed to myself about the tight squeeze and a nice young man overheard my chuckling and said, "Yep, that's capitalism for you."
I bought one of those PowerBar Harvest Energy Bars that taste like cardboard with dark chocolate chips and a Vitamin Water for the road.
I was preparing to go to Albany, NY. My girlfriend Katy lives there and I figured I'd swing by after the Boston trip and hang out there for 2 days. I hopped on the bus and the driver looked a lot like David Sitek from TV On The Radio. A true doppelganger. I wanted to bug him, but being a Greyhound bus driver is probably a terrible job and I didn't want to start his trip with a potentially awkward conversation.
This was easily the darkest bus ride I've ever been on in my life. I thought the 2005 Memorial Day trip to Levon Helm's house in Woodstock, NY was the darkest, but this one takes the cake. I've never seen a sky so black and purple. Then there was unsettling silence on the bus, the snow turning into sleet, the 10 minute McDonald's pit stop when everyone on the bus seemed to leave except for me - it was too creepy.
I think I got to Albany at 1 AM. Katy and Koren were there and they prepared a "Welcome to Upstate New York" paper plane for me. We drove around in the snow/sleet for about 2 hours and we dropped off Koren at her house. We went to the Price Chopper at 3:30 AM and purchased coffee, strawberry jam, and wheat bagels for the room. There were plows circling the parking lot but they weren't getting rid of any snow. I think they were just joyriding.
I needed a place to stay so I got a last minute room at the Budget Inn (also known as the Post Road Lodge) of Malta, NY. I can guarantee that out of all the hotels I've ever been to, this one is the most memorable. The lodge consists of about 6 hotel rooms, all side by side. We pulled up at around 4AM and there were a gaggle of geese honking outside of one of the rooms. I prayed it wasn't our room, and luckily it wasn't. Still, it looked like the goose mafia was ready to make a hit on whoever was sleeping in Room Number 1. The hotel lobby looks like Agent Dale Cooper's office from Twin Peaks. I had a pleasant exchange with the proprietor of the Budget Inn and I got the room key (yes, a key, not one of those wonky key cards).
I opened the door and laughed once again. Our room had not been changed since 1978. Above the bed was a poor painting of what looked like a frowning European Ambassador. We had a complete kitchen with no utensils or plates, a refrigerator, and a functioning old school timer microwave. The heavy winds from the outside kept blowing our door open, regardless of whether or not the door was locked. Our room was yellow and brown colored, and that's how I will remember it.