Port Authority Bus Terminal: Waiting

Commuting to New York City is challenging, especially from New Jersey. Fortunately, there are many commuting options. Trains and buses are rampant throughout the state. Even in foul weather like snow, the trains and buses run. They may be delayed a bit, but they run.

At times though, more often than not, the buses run late. It happens more in the afternoon than in the morning. For some reason, people seem to get more delays and accidents in the afternoon. Perhaps it’s the rush of wanting to get home and out of the pressure cooker that is New York City.
Through my years of commuting I’ve come up with some things to keep me entertained as I wait for delayed buses. Hope this list helps you as well.

  1. Guess my job. People look really different in a city environment. It’s not like a small town where everyone generally dresses the same or even looks the same. In New York City, in Port Authority Bus Terminal, all kinds of people show up. They come from different cultures, ethnicity, and professions. One thing I like to do is look around and guess to see what some of them might do for a living.
  2. What’s that smell. Regardless of whether the person next to you is homeless or a white collar professional, for some reason, personal smells and body odor are rampant at the bus gates in Port Authority. It’s not necessary to walk up to someone and take a big whiff, but just be aware of those around you. You’ll find that the scents, good and bad will make their way to you. You’ll be amazed at some of the things you might smell.
  3. Safety check. In Port Authority Bus Terminal, the security is high. Police are always walking about, but I like to make the effort to notice people and situations. Sometimes it’s the homeless person eyeing people in line as he begs for coins, or two young teenagers selling M&Ms for no cause but their own. Be observant and you’ll see a myriad of possible security and safety situations.
  4. Count the birds. Pigeons and sparrows infiltrate Port Authority Bus Terminal. I often carry a few crackers in my pocket to get them to come over to where I am waiting. It’s actually fun to feed these birds. But I have to say, they all look sick. Many of the pigeons have damaged or injured feet and wings. Some have no feet at all. It’s as if they survived an attack by a stray cat and lived to tell about it. Which is probably the case given how cavernous that place is. Connect with the birds. Their fun and will occupy your mind.

Waiting can be tedious in Port Authority. Hang in there. Hopefully these little tips will help you pass the time as you wait for your bus.

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