Monday, June 14, 2010

A Bus Odyssey

(PICTURE: The four of us at the USA vs. England game.)

Getting to the USA game the other night was quite an ordeal. The travel company we're using is -- what's the nicest word -- moronic. They basically have no clue about logistics and seemingly are flying by the seat of their pants despite having basically four years to plan this trip. Let me sum up our misadventure:
Wrong Move #1: We were told we would leave at noon for the game. The bus didn't show up until 12:45.
Wrong Move #2: About ninety people got on the bus. We were then told we'd be picking up a few more people at another hotel. That other hotel was in the wrong direction of the game. We ended up picking up about 7 people. So 90 of us went the wrong direction to pick up 7.
Wrong Move #3: We waited about 45 minutes in a parking lot to pick up the other 7 people.
Wrong Move #4: Despite being just about 10 minutes from a mall near the stadium (we were scheduled to stop there to get something to eat), the bus pulled over on a random street so a few people could pee at a fast food restaurant.
Wrong Move #5: After waiting fifteen minutes for some people to pee, the bus then stopped at a weigh station because the bus driver thought more people wanted to pee. This stop ended up turning into a thirty minute stop.
Wrong Move #6: At this point our trip had taken about four + hours and many people were getting antsy. We took a "vote" and decided to skip the mall and go right to the stadium. We got to the stadium and found out that our Tour Leader forgot to get the special parking permit. We had to wait about another hour for someone to bring us the permit.
We eventually parked and went into the stadium. It took us six hours from door to door for a trip which was scheduled to take 2.5 hours. Luckily we were still two hours early for the game. The only thing the tour company did right was having us leaving 8.5 hours early for the game.

And that was just getting to the stadium....

(PICTURE: The bus from hell.)

On the way home we waited about an hour and fifteen minutes in the parking lot for a couple people who didn't show up. Literally we were the last bus there. Even security was leaving the stadium. It eventually took us four hours to get home because the bus driver went to the wrong hotel and ended up getting lost. The guys and I ended up having about an hour to pack our stuff and catch a ride to the airport to fly to Cape Town.

All of that would have been worth it had the USA won...but as you all know by now, we tied England 1-1.