ICONS ARE BETTER #69: THE GREYHOUND BUS
Freedom on four wheels.
A ticket to ride and a positive attitude is all it takes to achieve your dream on a Greyhound Bus.
If you don’t come from America.
I think the interesting thing about the Greyhound bus is that it is a perfect demonstration that icon status is often about perspective.
To us (me?) it represents the beautiful dream of striking out for freedom.
To me the Greyhound Bus is the modern equivalent of the wagon of the 19th century mid-west pioneer. I only have to hear the name or see the historical silver (grey?) exterior and conjure up visions of “Almost Famous” and youthful positivity.
However, to every American I’ve ever met it represents the worst form of transport imaginable. It represents the way you would travel if you had run out of money and, literally, every other option.
Try to imagine how we view travelling anywhere via National Express coaches and you’ll get somewhere close. Now add in ten times the potential danger and distance.
I think another analogy is how they view Greyhound buses is the same way that Americans view the Red London Bus (that most Londoners with a few bob will do anything to avoid travelling on).
Sometimes how iconic something feels or seems is dependent on your perspective. We (or certainly, I) view anything American as exotic, aspirational and exciting. They view anything English as classy, possibly quaint and even Downton-esque.
I love the Greyhound bus.
I’ve got a ticket to ride and I feel fine.
Mind you, I still fly everywhere in the States.
I’m not mad.
Kevin Chesters – Executive Planning Director at mcgarrybowen.
Follow Kevin on twitter @hairychesters.