A travel story when the traveler doesn’t have a clue

My mother told me this traveler-doesn’t-have-a-clue story yesterday morning after I picked her up at the Greyhound bus station in Columbus, Ohio.

I posted about this yesterday, but I’m still shaking my head and wondering where the woman is today and what she has found to eat. Perhaps she’s in Missouri?

It has reminded me of other travel stories when there is nothing else to do but keep on keeping on–and hopefully, eventually, you’ll get to where you want to go. It’s also to make you feel better if you’ve ever made a travel mistake. I’ve made mistakes, but not quite like this.

Here is the recap:

“Where are you going?” My mother asked the woman who got on the bus in Newark, New Jersey.

“Los Angeles,” the woman said.

“My!” said my mother. “That’s far. When will you get there?”

“Tomorrow.” The woman, according to my mother, sounded confident.

“Tomorrow?!” my mother exclaimed.

Mind you, they are on the bus on the east coast. The U.S. hasn’t shrunk.

The woman nodded, still sure.

In Pittsburgh, the woman discovered the truth. She won’t arrive in Los Angeles until Saturday, I think sometime tomorrow night. It is a looooonnnnnng ride.

My mother said that the woman spoke with an accent , so perhaps she misunderstood the details, or she never asked for the details. I wonder if her ticket gave her an inkling that something was amiss? Regardless, she’s somewhere the middle of the U.S. by now and by tomorrow night she’ll be in L.A.

This reminds me a little bit of the problem when planning international travel that involves crossing the International Date Line. When we lived in Asia I always double checked to make sure I understood exactly what day it would be when I would arrive somewhere. Missing a day can wreck havoc on plans if you’re not careful.

Or there are the mistakes where you head east instead of west or the other way around. I know someone who was driving to Washington, D.C., from Columbus, but didn’t discover he had gone the wrong way until he hit Indiana or thereabouts. He had recently immigrated to the U.S. which added to his sign reading difficulties and reluctance to ask for directions.