By whuddafugger a.
I had a week off and nothing better to do. The wife had to work. The kid was at home. So I decided to catch a Greyhound bus from Dallas to Laredo, Texas. Departed 12/28/2010 and returned on 12/31/2010.
I have to say it was a relatively pleasant experience. The other passengers who were mostly Mexican, were quiet and calm and kept to themselves for the most part. There were no drunken maniacs or homeless winos making aggressive passes at anyone. The drivers, both going and returning, were polite and helpful. They only addressed the passengers in Spanish, which was odd, but I think it was because most of the passengers were Mexican. However, if I asked the driver a question in English, he they would say, "Ahh..." and address me in English.
The Dallas Greyhound station was not as unorganized or chaotic as some reviewers have said. Maybe it depends on the time of year? The morning of my departure, the place was slightly crowded, but not standing-room only.
I got to the station at 10:30am. Only one person was ahead of me in line, and I bought a ticket for a bus leaving for Laredo at 11:00am that same morning. The ticket agent was polite and friendly. She asked if I had any carry-on luggage, and I said, "All's I have is this backpack. Will it fit in the overhead?"
"Turn around," she said, "Let me see. Yeah, it'll fit." Then she printed my ticket out and told me where to stand.
"Which bus number? Do you know?" I said.
"I don't know. All I know is that your bus will be arriving at Gate 5, right over there."
I stood in line for maybe 15, 20 minutes. And then it seemed like every bus for every destination arrived all at once. Laredo, Houston, El Paso, wherever. An agent on the PA system announced which gate was for which destination.
Although it was a drizzly kind of day and there were patches of bumper-to-bumper traffic going down I-35, the driver made good time. My only complaint is that the bus going to Laredo was way too cramped. No leg room whatsoever. I kind of worked out a system where I would lean forward and arch my back every few minutes to help ease the strain. Fortunately, there were two or three rest stops where he let us off the bus to stretch our legs. That helped a lot. We got into Laredo at about 7:30 that evening.
The bus on the return trip was much more comfortable. I was just about able to stretch my legs out completely, there was so much leg room. I was thinking, Hell, I would rather do 8 hours on this thing than 8 hours on a plane. At least on a bus, you can stare out the window and watch stuff go by. And also there are the rest stops where you can get out and stretch your legs or go into the gas station and use a real toilet. Try doing that on a plane at 40,000 feet. It was also odd, but I think both buses were ones operated by Mexican bus companies. Going to Laredo, the bus was an Americano Express. I don't recall what the bus was on the return trip, but I do know it didn't say Greyhound on the side.