So, I went to Lakewood for the very first time this past Shabbos. It was great. I went to stay with a friend of mine who is also the daughter of some friends/people I work for.
I left on Friday for the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. I bought my ticket and went to the gate. To my surprise, there was a bus just about to leave. I was the last one onto the bus. There were few empty seats and most of them were next to men. I got to the very back of the bus where there were five seats in a row. There were McDonald’s bags of garbage strew over two empty seats with a female sitting on one end of the empty seats. Jackpot! I pushed the bags over and the man on the other side of the empty seats cursed me out and told me to seat elsewhere. I said, “There’s no other seats.” He stated that there were. I said, “no there’s not, I’m sitting here.” He huffily pushed the McDonald’s bags onto the floor.
I started to worry that I was on the wrong bus as I didn’t find any buses on my schedule leaving at the time we were leaving. The girl next to me ( who, by the way looked frum) told me that I was fine, phew. I pulled out some Hamodias from the week and started to read the paper. I offered one to the girl. She declined.
I came across an article in the Hamodia that made me tear up. In the 18 Sivan 5769 issue which has fall foliage and a lake on the cover, this was on page 8, “Questions & Answers.” The woman writes in that her husband is a ger and talmid chacham. Rabbo Zecharya Greenwald writes back mentioning gerim having to hide this fact is serious condemnation of our society.
I was looking through some other articles and I fell asleep on the Hamodia magazine.
As we were getting closer, people started getting off the bus. The frum girl from next to me got off and I worried that I missed my stop. I went up to the front and double-checked with the driver. We were in Lakewood on our way to the terminal.