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I have a fairly sound sense of direction. I can follow maps and directions and am aware of my surroundings. That said, never accompany me to the Spokane bus station. I can NEVER fucking find the place. If I printed some directions, I’m sure I would be fine, but having been there a few times, I always think I remember exactly where it is and how to get there. Nope.

Pops picked me up yesterday morning, and we made for Spokane. As the extra thirty minutes I had budgeted steadily ticked away, the air molecules inside the car became palpably more frenzied. Pops furiously smoked his cigars and disobeyed traffic laws while I performed a wild-eyed search of the landscape and bellowed questions at strangers on street corners. Ah – the old familiar travel tension. We finally screeched into the parking lot, tires aflame, and stormed the ticket counter. I panted my request and Pops thrust forth his credit card clenched in his white-knuckled fist. Lady’s all like, “Yeah…that bus is overbooked. I’ll put you on standby. Otherwise, next bus leaves out at 4:30.” It was 12 noon. I know (yes, from past experience in this exact situation) that the 4:30 bus takes an extra hour and a half and meanders off through Yakima instead of the Spokane – Seattle I-90 straight shot. Shit.

I stood beside the bus, pathetically watching everyone board with their hoity-toity-I-planned-ahead attitudes. Bus driver finally gave me the go ahead, and I bounded up the bus steps like a precocious chipmunk with a newfound nut stash (not a nut ‘stache, sickos). Thirty minutes later, the guy who forgot his wallet and had to call his gf back to the bus station was ready, and we were on the road

I am unnaturally comfortable with bus travel. This may be a result of my 5,000 or so bus hours I logged in Mexico and Guatemala. Seriously. The trip between Mexico City and the Guate border at Tapachula, Chiapas (Mex) was 18 hours. I like the arial view from a plane, but you get a much better cross-section of culture and countryside from eye-level. I have had better bus rides than the one I took yesterday (almost every ride in Mexico, city buses excluded) and worse (coming out of the Guatemalan mountains, my seatmate was an upside-down bound turkey…until the brakes went out and we switched buses). But that’s for another blog, kiddies.

This bus was alright (minus a really annoying engine whine) and ripe for observation:

*My seatmate’s bootay took up one third of my seat.
*The woman in front of me had hair I can only describe as a short mullet ducktail. She believed fervently in angels and faith-healing.
*Sunday is a bad day to bus to Seattle unless you really love cramming tightly betwixt the unwashed masses in a mobile metal box.
*The dye in Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Limon Crunchy snacks turns your fingertips a frightening shade of fuschia.
*I feel a passionate and sexual love for my ipod.
*Hello to the people reading over my shoulder

A mere 6 hours after setting sail, I was in Seattle eating pizza with some of my fam. Met up with Seattleized Moscow-friend, J. Bierhaus (Yes! Her name is House of Beer! And she beats a wicked set of drums!). We caught up at El Chupacabra (6711 Greenwood Ave. Seattle). The tequila and Mexi-beer selections were off the hook and the prices weren’t bad. $5.50 for a fuerte house margarita in a pint glass. $2 for a pint of Pabst; $5 for a big ole shot o’ Cuervo, and the barkeep was attentive and personable. The deal-sealer for me was the decor with tons of Dia de los Muertos skeleton folk art which I looooooooove. They advertise Mission-style burritos, but who has time to eat when you’re this busy drinking?

House of Beer in El Chupacabra

House of Beer mentioned she had a friend who might be working there, and who should waltz out of the woodwork but Jesse “The Mexican” Calixto. In a turn of good timing (in terms of me having a fabulous hangover for my flight to NY), his band Smoking Bill (birthed in ‘Scow town) are playing Tuesday night in Freemont. Tonight is a night out on Capitol Hill (because homeslice Zack is a hermit and a weiner). Then it’s on to New York City and a Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG)/Tecos reunion

Strap on your reading glasses, kids.

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