Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Here’s a Woohoo to Charleston

I have visited many cities while attending debate scenes. Charleston SC (from my short stay there) is tops. Everyone is so warm and friendly. Everyone is so welcoming. At the welcoming center I was told about 44 people move to Charleston every day!

The population is about 750,000 people but things are wide open in many areas. I stayed in North Charleston across for the Tanger Outlet Mall. It was a quick walk to the express to downtown Charleston, which I decided to take because I thought I might meet and talk with some city residents. Not what happened – but it did set me on an adventure!

I was surprised that the buses are much smaller than those in my hometown, Ann Arbor. I struck up a conversation with the bus driver who like everyone else I met was very friendly. Besides me, she was the only person on the bus! Sadly, the bus was having issues and after an hour and a relatively short ride I ended up not at my destination but at the place I had boarded! Enter Charleston hospitality. A supervisor pulled up in his car and took me and me alone downtown to the front of my destination, Charleston Gaillard Center.

Well, that’s not where the story ends. When I left the debate scene I walked a short block to the stop for the express bus. A bus pulled up, the driver opened the entrance door and in answer to my query informed me that Number 4 would not be by for 45 minutes. She suggested I get on her bus and she would drop me somewhere where I could at least sit while I waited. When she was not able to find a stop with seating she told me to stay on her bus – that this was her last run and she would take me to North Charleston.

I spoke with a number of regulars on the bus – one of them a Trumper with whom I interacted briefly and who smiling told me could agree to disagree. Not always the response I get when dressed as Uncle Sam and sharing why I am in costume. The long and the short of it, when the official run was done, the driver drove me – not to a North Charleston bus stop but to my hotel!  I literally had to force her to accept a tip!

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