Life lesson #1: This is useful to know if you're traveling by bus with a bike. With Greyhound, in addition to charging you $30 for transporting your bike, they charge you $10 for a box. Pretty expensive box. If you think you're being clever (like I thought I was) by going to a bike shop and getting a *free* box, you're kidding yourself. Boxes from bike shops are small, and require that you remove your pedals, wheel, handlebars, and fenders. Then, it's too heavy to carry, so it costs $12 to get it to the bus station. And then, when you get to your destination (still thinking that you're clever for getting a free box) when you see someone who spent $10 on an official greyhound box, you realize that the box is twice as big, they only needed to take the front wheel off to fit it in, and, compared to you, they can put their bike back together with half the tools in a quarter of the time. `Nuff said. Buy the greyhound box.
Life lesson #2: Quand tu organises un répas communautaire avec une groupe des gens, n'oublies jamais, jamais à mentionner que tu es végétalienne.
A note with more hindsight: Several weeks later, I renege the sentiments expressed in this post about bicycle boxes (partially, anyway :) Taking my bike into pieces and putting it back together again helped me gain a basic grounding in the way my bike functions... which helped me fix the bike a week later when I dropped it and off-centered the handlebars. Get a small bike box... once at least... as long as you have someone who can help you on both ends and as long as you approach the task with patience.