I set off last week for Portland Maine. I took the Greyhound bus up, and the Amtrak Downeaster train back at night. My day started leaving South Station in Boston at 9:45AM. The ride was supposed to be about two hours, which didn’t seem too bad I thought to myself. It actually went a lot smoother than that. There were really no issues going up there other than the bus driver speaking terrible English. I don’t say that to make fun of him or anything, if nothing else the guy is trying his best to speak a language which is clearly not his first. The only reason why I said that was after “Ports-mouth” New Hampshire, the next stop was supposed to be Wells, Maine than Portland. We pulled into Wells, without an issue, and the bus driver said, “Next stop Poland”. I sat there and started having a heart attack. I know Poland Springs is a water company from Maine, and I am not quite sure if there actually is a Poland, Maine. However, after I calmed myself down I realized that what he actually meant was “Portland, Maine”.
I seem to be creating a new tradition when I go on my excursions. I get off at Aquarium MBTA station, go to the Long Wharf Marriott and get in line at the Starbucks for my Iced Grande Americano. I then meander along Atlantic Avenue until I hit South Station, where I step into the McDonalds and get a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast sandwich, mosey on over to the bus station, then wait. I usually eat the sandwich on the bus and finish my coffee then as well. So you probably know where this is going.
The ride to Portland, Maine took less time than I expected. But being in a sitting position looking at my phone for the entire time meant that my stomach hadn’t enough time to actually do its’ thing. So as soon as I could stand up and stretch my legs, that South Station Bacon, Egg, and Cheese hit me like a sack of bricks. I had to take a shit, and fast.
Luckily for me I didn’t have too far to go when I got off in Portland. Right outside was the bus station, and thankfully they let me go in and drop a nasty duce. The bus station itself looks more like a mechanic’s garage than anything else. It had signs outside that I am going to paraphrase here, if you don’t have a ticket, Get the fuck away. Yeah I can imagine there being a homeless problem using bus stations, but to be honest, I had a ticket and I was going to go poo!
Finding the bathroom wasn’t really too much of a challenge. As I said before, this place was fairly small in comparison to South Station. There is a ticket counter, some vending machines, a rack of brochures, and a sign for the bathrooms. That is pretty much it. Now I know why Greyhound practically gives away bus tickets these days.
This bathroom met every preconceived thoughts and judgements I had of the place. Upon first inspection, it looked just as broken down as the rest of the building. There were two stalls, one of them handicapped, and the other was of the normal variety. When I stepped into the handicap stall I placed my bag and jacket on the coat hook. Exactly in that order. When I turned my back to start inspecting the stall my bag fell off of the coat rack onto the ground. Great, that had my tablet and some water and other breakables in there. Thankfully nothing was broken, so I place my coat on the hook, only to have the same thing happen. My jacket fell onto the floor as well. This time I just decided to say “fuck it” and put my bag and jacket on the ground next to me.
The stall was on the smaller side of what you would expect a handicap stall to be. I have found in my travels they come in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. This was a smaller sized handicap stall. I would say you had enough room for a hiking pack, and you could turn around in it, but that was about it. I don’t know how you would fit an actual wheelchair in here, and manage to go to the bathroom as well.
After first initially sitting down the bathroom was bustling with people. Most of them were en route to Augusta, Maine and they were probably just going to the bathroom to walk around and stretch their legs. After about three minutes the bathroom became pretty dead. I would imagine that whenever there is a layover the bathroom’s occupancy level is at its’ peak. After a few minutes it tends to die down.
After the initial onslaught of people, I was free to sit back and take in the sights of my first Maine bathroom. Now Maine has a saying, “this is the way life should be” and to every degree it is true. I got a different feeling in the air when I first stepped out of the bus. The air was cleaner, and there just seemed to be a different atmosphere up here. The bathroom itself was an awful bright red and white. The walls were painted cinderblocks (or some other kind of masonry stone used to build buildings), either way it looked outdated and run down. Then again I am in a Greyhound Bus Station on the outskirts of Portland, so I am not expecting great things here.
The bus bathroom itself was cleaner than I would expect it to be. I was expecting it to be a total wreck, but it was actually fairly clean other than a few pieces of toilet paper on the ground. The toilets were clean and so were the sinks. There is a caveat though, the bathroom’s décor and building materials made the bathroom look dingier than it actually was. It just gave the essence of the bathroom being dirty.
I was finally almost done with my poop when I had to start considering the toilet paper options I had before me. There was this awful one ply toilet paper that was the kind that didn’t bunch up, nor did it fold correctly. It was just about what I expected. It hurt my asshole, and it took way more paper than an average quality toilet paper would to clean up my ass.
Everything in the bathroom was manual. The soap, the sink, and the toilet. There was only one option for drying your hand which was an ancient air dryer. The air dryer sounded like it was on its’ last legs. It didn’t really do anything to dry my hands. Its’ burst of air was pathetic at best. I had better luck rubbing my hands against my coat to dry them than I did using this.
Now that shit is done and in the books, why don’t we turn the attention to The Secret Shitter’s Review. Remember, everything is based out of five stars.
|Number of Stalls||2|
|Toilet Paper Quality||1|
I am just as shocked as you that this toilet didn’t become a 1 Star Shitter too. The only thing that this toilet had going for it was that you could find it. Overall the toilet paper quality, and the dingy décor is what sunk this bathroom’s ratings. I would have given it a point higher if the décor didn’t sabotage the cleanliness factor. Like I said in the review, it was pretty clean, but the décor made it seem dirtier than it actually was. When the only real thing you can hang your hat on is the fact that you can find the bathroom, you know you’re not going to score many points with me. The toilet paper was abysmal, and the coat hook was bent at such an angle that it didn’t actually hold any coats. The hook was almost solely responsible for almost breaking my tablet. Thankfully it didn’t. Now I know why Greyhound turned us down for a sponsorship. Their bathrooms and bus stops are in terrible conditions. I can’t say that business should be booming when it cost me a whole $10.75 to get up to Portland. I mean that is less than what the MBTA’s commuter rail charged me to go to Providence. The bus ride was fine, but since I waited to take a dump here, in hindsight I should have taken a shit on the bus on the way up. So I guess to end this first post from Portland, it can only go up from here.
Like what you are reading? Well tune in every Monday for more posts from Portland Maine, Wednesdays for Massachusetts, and Fridays for Providence Rhode Island. I am very busy writing and exploring new places for you so that you can be better informed when you visit these cities. We have one book available on Amazon, The Secret Shitter’s Guide to Boston, Vol. 1 and I am writing the second, and third book in our series as we speak weekly. The Second book will be titled; The Secret Shitter’s Guide to Boston, Vol. 2; Electric Poogaloo, and our third book will be; The Secret Shitter’s Guide to New England Vol. 1. All I am saying to you the reader is if you like what you read, buy the book, and share the posts with other like-minded people. It is literally the only thing you have to do. I made a little money off of the first book which I took and put aside and was able to pay for travel to Portland Maine, and Providence Rhode Island. Know that you are supporting me directly to go and expand this blog further. Thank you very much for reading and we will see you Wednesday when we explore, The Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston Massachusetts.