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Slightly embarrassed (and still completely nonfunctionally out of it, thanks in small part to a show at the Roseland ballroom last night and in vast quantities to the insanity that was the diverted Q train to Brooklyn last night, I’m barely sitting upright and I think Michael and I yelled at each other this morning but I honestly don’t even remember, I was so out of it) to learn that Bolt is actually a subsidiary of Greyhound, founded this spring to compete directly with the Chinatown buses. Early reports list the service as NY-DC only, although now the company has a Boston run too.

The question is – isn’t Bolt now competing with itself, ie Greyhound? Why couldn’t they just cut costs on the regular Greyhound line? Will this force the Chinese buses to get more organized and clean?

This also begs my two personal bus pet peeves – why can’t American buses install those amazing double-wide faux-leather Lazy-Boy-recliner seats with the radios in the arm rest like the awesome Spanish buses? And why can’t there be an attendant who brings around tea or coffee, hot towels and blankets to tuck you in at night, like the South American buses? (They do this in Turkey too, but the gentleman on that bus took a creepy interest in a friend of mine and she woke up with him beside her staring and I think almost touching, if not outright, so I’ll leave that off the list).

The list of East Coast bus services is getting long, so I’ll leave with one last question – what’s the best?

I ask not just for me, but for also for Mom, who has been pondering ways to take a weekend trip or two solo once we have our new place in Park Slope, and I think there’s some buses that will pick her up in Salisbury on the Norfolk-NY run, but I’m not sure nor do I know how nice they are.

Wherever I go, I make trails – of my stuff. Meaning I always leave things behind. I’m just that disorganized about gear. It’s a curse. I put something down, my mind’s already on the next thing, and out the door I go. I do this at home with drinking glasses, mugs and laundry. I have left perfectly good, not-cheap water bottles in the Old City of Jerusalem and at the outdoor used book stalls in Valparaiso, Chile, only discovering my mistake when I’m, say, in the desert or Patagonia. An Egyptian cruise boat snagged a T-shirt. More trains and buses have swallowed more of my snacks than I have. Thankfully I’ve never (knock wood) lost anything major – I manage to hold on to my shoes, pack and sleeping bag (though I think I did sacrifice sneakers to Europe one summer).

The one that kills me, though, is the pack towels. I love them – so thin and light, so absorbent and yet quick drying. I hate traveling wet. I love traveling fast and light. It’s totally a travel geek thing, but there it is. And yet, I loose them. All. The. Time. I should invest in my own towel company – except Rick Steves already has.

What do you lose?