Stories on the edge of familiarity

Category Archives: Happiness

World Tour, Day 1: Sleeping on a Bus Isn’t as Awful as it Sounds

Yesterday was my first day of my grand world tour (wherein I travel the world to see friends, experience new things, and occasionally sign books) (the books thing really is occasional- I’m not famous enough for an actual global book tour) (yet *waggles eyebrows*), and that first day started at 5:25pm, when the Greyhound bus took me out of Edmonton.

The two most interesting things that happened were that I had to switch buses at Calgary, and that I slept on the bus.

Oh, and I started reading Clare Marshall’s Sparkstone Saga. That was a thing, too.

How to Sleep on a Bus

I witnessed a number of different methods. Some slept upright (why?). One man used his backpack as a pillow and sprawled shoeless across both seats. The woman in front of me had a blanket and full-sized pillow, the latter of which she placed behind her and the former of which she spread on top of her as she lay back, tucked in her feet, and nodded off.

They were clearly travel experts. I took mental notes.

It took me a few tries to find the right strategy, but the fact that I am a fun-sized human came in handy for all of them.

Sleeping Attempts

Since I had no pillow or blanket, and my backpack was not pillow-worthy, I pulled out my inflatable neck and back pillow. I also pulled out an eye cover and earplugs and kept my jacket on.

These I tried to use the traditional way, but it became clear that the only way I was going to sleep upright was if I had no other choice. I then proceeded to lean back akin to the lady with her pillow, but the neck pillow did not oblige. This resulted in numerous manoeuvres which ended in me lying on my side, legs bent, across the two seats, and with m back pillow and neck pillow stacked on top of each other to form a semblance of an ordinary pillow.

They were actually comfortable, too, exactly as it has said on the package. It’s nice to know that not all product advertising is overblown hype.

Since I didn’t want my feet sticking out into the aisle for someone to trip over when they went to go to back to pee in the middle of the night, I ended up turning around so that my head was at the aisle side (pillows kept in place by a partially raised armrest), and my feet had the bus wall to press against. Normally, I sleep on my side and turn around periodically during the night when one side becomes uncomfortable, and was delighted to find I could not only do that easily, but I could sleep on whichever side without fear of falling off when the bus slowed or stopped. Although I did lower the middle armrest a few times to hold onto just in case.

I also held onto my hat all night because it’s nice to have something to hold while sleeping.

The Sleeping Experience

I didn’t sleep the whole night through, but I was always at least in a hazy state, so I don’t think I ever woke up completely except for the one time we all had to get off the bus at 6am for it to gas up and such. Thankfully, I expected sleep would be weird and settled in for it early and kept dozing off as much as possible late. Even if I didn’t get great sleep, I got a whole bunch of it, so I was functional today. Which, come to think of it, is pretty easy to be when you sit on a bus until 6pm.

My thoughts on the bus sleeping experience: not terrible. I’d be up for doing it again, if need be, even if I don’t have a blanket and full-sized pillow.

Expect entries for days 2 and 3 tomorrow :)

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