Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sunday, New York to Philly….

So after a difficult day yesterday, the show at the garden and then a night at the Local West bar i woke feeling VERY hung over! (Will type up the pre show, show and post show details in another post)

Id arranged to pick up the rental car from the parking garage at 10am, i looked at my watch after waking and is said 9:15, ugggghhh i was late! fortunately the clocks had gone back the night before so it was only really 8:15am! nice!

I struggled out of bed, Brad and Julee had ordered breakfast and ordered me French toast with a huge container of syrup, this was exactly what i needed to soak up the remaining alcohol in my stomach! I then showered, packed, said goodbye to Brad, Julee and Milla and walked the couple of blocks to pick up the car.

I was driving down to Philly today, a short 2 hours drive compared to some of the trips id been doing. Getting through the Lincoln tunnel took nearly an hour! it was the New York marathon this morning and although id planned my route to avoid the East side of the city i think everyone else had done the same! once through the tunnel i got on the highway and traffic was great all the way till i hit within a mile of Philly.

Took me a good 45 minutes to drive one mile once i hit downtown Philly!! for some reason all the main highways into the city had been closed by cop cars parked across the freeway entrances. I finally made it to the hotel around 2pm, parked the car and went to check in.

Kami was on the Chinese bus up from Washington DC to Philly and would be getting in around 3pm, i was unable to check in till 3 so sat in the lobby and relaxed for a while. I got in the room around 3, unpacked and headed down the street  to meet up with Kami, her Chinese bus ride was an experience in itself by all accounts as I'll let Kami tell you below:

As an eternally impoverished college student, I’ve had to discover interesting ways to save money over the years—this has led me to reach lots of new lows. The Chinatown bus is one of them. For $14 one way, you can get from D.C. to Philadelphia, New York, or Boston in record times. I remember my first ride on the Chinese bus up to New York several years ago- it was crowded and loud and smelled like… well… China. The drivers barrel up and down 95’ reaching unprecedented speeds and changing lanes like a tiny sports car, stopping to spew people out at the next Chinatown (or anywhere else—if the diver feels like it). The D.C. office/waiting room is a tiny little cave in the basement of a townhouse in the heart of D.C,’s Chinatown about a block away from the Verizon center. I waiting there until the driver came and yelled at us, herding us into two unmarked busses—one for Philly and one for N.Y. I loaded my own luggage into the bottom and had to shuffle and nudge my way onto the bus—they’re first come, first serve. I also wanted to sit in the front of the bus, where it smells less, and it doesn’t bounce me as high when we go over bumps at 90mph. As we pulled out of D.C. the driver kept changing lanes solely to get up next to the other Chinese busses, role down the windows, and yell at them in Chinese. The busses now make pit stops out of Baltimore, and when we got there, the bus driver disappeared for about 5 minutes and just left the bus sitting on the side of the road. From Baltimore to Philly, we seriously made record time—if there had been no traffic, the trip would have been two and a half hours, even with a few random stops—as it was, it still took less than three hours. The last few miles of the journey, we flew into Philly going God-knows-how-fast—definitely faster than all of the cars we cut off—as the Chinese driver was screaming at some in Chinese over his radio. (Now they have Bluetooth pieces, but they used to have hand-held radios which they’d juggle in one hand as they drove.) I got there before Simon could even make the short walk from the hotel to the bus stop.
We celebrated with Chinese dumplings!


We ate at a small Chinese dumpling place when Andy arrived which was probably as near to genuine Chinese food as you can get in downtown Philly, Then headed back to the hotel, dropped Kami’s bags off and intended to go out and have a look around Philly. I was actually just coming around by this time, after driving to Philly with a hangover and going through the “I'm never going to drink again” phase. The food had done me good and kinda brought me round a bit but i was totally shattered so the three of us just hung out in the hotel lobby, chatted about stuff for a couple of hours and then headed up for an early night.


  1. Kami: so it's like being in China then, sorta? Hilarious but I could never live through that, I get carsick too easily when I'm not driving!

    Hope you're feeling better Si. *hugs*

    Julie :)

  2. I know someone else who did the Chinese bus thing...went to the Liberty Bell, DC and a few sightseeing stops in 36 hours and returned back from it; included a hotel room and was very cheap. On the other hand, while she enjoyed it, I might have had a breakdown...

    You're a brave soul; I wouldn't know where to get dumplings in Philly tho! Ellie

  3. Hey kami!
    Yes, I have done the bus thing! the Fung Wah busses are insane! $10 from Boston to NYC (well, in 1996 it was $10), and you hold on for dear life!! Glad you made it ok!