It was when I was drying my chucks with hand dryers, whilst standing barefoot on paper towels so not to step foot in the nastiness that is the basement bathroom of Toronto’s bus station, when I knew it was going to be a long freakin’ night.
Mother Nature can be a bitch sometimes, and she picked the night I was leaving on my bus back to Washington D.C. to have the mother of all mood swings.
The train station lay dormant, flooded with knee high water. The roads were shut down in parts of the city from flooding, flights were halted, and most of Toronto was consumed with blackness.
Kinda’ sounds like an ‘End of the World’ Roland Emmerich film. But no, this is what happened to Toronto in a mere 2 hours as a freak storm whirled into the city, bringing with it 90+mm of rainfall and umbrella inverting winds.
Hence why I was in the bathroom attempting to change out of my sopping wet clothing and trying not to touch the piss covered floors like hot lava we played as children. Except this was WAY more difficult.
We had been strolling around the Kensington District of Toronto to try and fill my last few hours with a neighborhood I had heard so much about. When we started toward Kensington, the sun was beaming hot, and fluffy white clouds dotted the sky. Not foreboding at all.
But soon enough after getting to Kensington and poking into few of the hippie stores, dark clouds began to creep in.
“That doesn’t look to happy” I said looking at the sky, but it wasn’t until we saw dresses blowing sideways on hangers that we decided to find shelter.
I still had a couple hours left until my bus was scheduled to leave, so as the rain drops began falling and the clouds swirled above, we ducked into a Chinese joint for quick bite. And to hopefully last out a quick shower.
But we would come to find out, this storm wasn’t just an ordinary summer thunderstorm, but a shitstorm coming to destroy all hope of me getting home on time.
“Oh looky there, the rain is sideways”
We were done and out of time, but the storm hadn’t let up, it had worsened. All cabs were taken, and the cab phone numbers were jammed, so we were going to have to hump it through the pudding rain back to the bus station.
Umbrellas were no use, the rain was flying at such an extreme angle that it soaked us completely from head to toe. After walking a block or toe and realizing that our camera and laptops were at risk of being destroyed, we sloshed through the already 6 inch deep water in the streets and hopped aboard a streetcar.
And that is when my mission impossible began. I did not choose to accept it, but I had to take it nonetheless.
7:45pm rolled around and still no bus. Tweets were flying in left and right about the #TOflood and #TOstorm, with people sharing images of the unbelievable craziness that ensued after the storm hit. It had calmed down to a drizzle now, but the aftermath was still apparent.
Even Jack and Rose couldn’t fight the Titanic sized mess.
9:00pm came and went, with still no sign of the bus. Everyone in line was fast growing impatient, and Megabus had no answers to give. I sat patiently and quietly knowing that bitching wasn’t going to get me anywhere, but I’ll tell ya, sitting on concrete for a few hours sucks!
A rep from Megabus finally strolled over and gave us bad news, news I figured was coming after seeing the photos.
“The bus is stranded on the flooded freeway and can’t go anywhere,
traffic is at a standstill. We don’t know if the bus will be canceled or not.”
And then came the uproar. People began bitching and freaking out as if it were possible to just fly over a shut down city to us. I didn’t bitch, but I was growing wearing of waiting and I just wanted to know if I had to stay or go.
“1 hour, the bus will be here in 1 hour, it’s making its way across the city”
That hour came and passed as well. At this point I was slouched over my bags, aching and tired. And no bus came. One lady who was about to lose it yelled out to the guy giving us updates.
“The bus was stuck at a closed off road, 15 minutes, it’ll be here”
And finally it did. We all eagerly piled onto the bus, relieved, but 4 hours later than we had thought. We slowly made our way through the dark city and toward the United States.
But of course the fun didn’t stop there!
Why is it that I made it to Washington D.C. At 4pm the next day?
Border Control crossing into the United States of course took their sweet time, and decided to question me for 20+ minutes because they didn’t believe who I was.
And then in Buffalo the bus driver that was supposed to switch with the Canadian one was an hour late.
And we made made two 30 minute pit stops, as well as stopping every hour because out bus driver had a small bladder.
Talk about purgatory. I thought it would never end, but it did after 5 hours of waiting and a 14hr bus ride.
How about you, have you ever had a trip from hell like that one?
(Disclaimer: most photos were taken off of Twitter posts from others)