December 7th – 9th 2010
What have I learned about bus rides in India? Avoid them whenever possible.
I specifically told the bus-booking service I did NOT want a window seat. If anyone here remembers, I had encounters with small roaches along the walls of the bus during my Aurangabad to Ahmedabad journey on a “luxury” bus.
This “deluxe” bus was packed and overbooked, as usual. It was Africa all over again. The luggage compartment was full with who knows what so everyone had to bring their luggage on board. So our bags filled the aisles and people with no seats had to sit on the luggage. My neighbor who had the window seat seemed like a friendly guy although he was a bit strange. He shook my hand and said something which I didn’t quite understand, something about him being a driver.
Anyway, I go to sleep, hoping for the projected 8-10 hour journey to pass by quickly. I wake up in the middle of the night, my right pant leg pretty damp. I immediately had a horrible thought. No, I didn’t pee my pants. Rather, I thought my neighbor did, and it “connected” with me through the seats. Our seats were tight too so when we were asleep, our legs were in close proximity, and probably even touching.
So I pull out my headlamp from my bag, slowly shine the light over to my neighbor’s pants and sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed. His crotch area was wet and so were insides of his pant legs, as if he peed in his pants. You can tell by the darker shade of the peed-on areas. Earlier that night, the bus stopped for a bathroom break and he was one of the last ones out to pee but I don’t think he got to go because the bus started right back up really quickly. And now, he probably decided “Fuck it, I’m Indian and this in India, I’m going to pee in my pants in the bus.” (Hey, I know how much it hurts to hold your pee in during long journeys as I had the same experience in Morocco, so these days before long journeys on buses, I don’t drink much before-hand.)
I don’t call him out on it because I didn’t want to humiliate him. Or maybe I’ve been conditioned to think “Hey, it’s India, shit (or pee) happens”. I distance myself from him as much as I could that night, allowing half my ass to hang off my seat. Hours later, the moment my seat neighbors in front got out of the bus, I moved and got to knock off a couple hours of sleep.
A few hours later, Mr Pants-Pee-er (PP) starts doing a Hindi version of Tourette’s. He was literally shouting some random Hindi. I turned around and he looked half-asleep. Was he drunk? I noticed he was drinking *something* when I was still his neighbor. The Tourette’s went on for an hour and no one in the bus did or said anything to him so I turned around and asked him if he was ok. The guy, although half his eyelids were open and shouting random Hindi, was non-responsive to my enquiries. I was quite afraid that he shit his pants and he was so embarrassed he was shouting “FUCK MY LIFE!” in Hindi. No, I don’t know what he said but that’s what I would’ve screamed if I shit my pants.
When in India, do as the Indians do; Nothing, which is what I did. I just sat there, tried to go back to sleep, and Mr PP eventually fell back asleep. When we got to Delhi, I got out of that bus as fast as I could. I’d say it was a good day to do laundry.