A couple of years back whenever I was on the highway I used to look at these huge buses (Air buses as they are called) driving past and there would be two thoughts on my mind - 1) who would want to travel for hours in a claustrophobic bus? 2) wow! They look majestic..with nice seats..wish I could go on a ride sometime. Yes. Conflicting thoughts. My wish came true however with me moving to Tanjore. That means quite a number of trips by bus to home and back.
Now, I was thrilled the 1st time I traveled by an Air bus. Excitement clouded my judgement and I loved the ride. Then comes the 2nd trip and you start to notice reality. Air buses are of two types. Private owned and Govt buses. But they share a dozen commons.
Trips are mostly scheduled for the night and if you are not an expert at infant-sleeping like I am you’d have a strenuous ride.
Rule no: 1 – try getting a window seat. That way you get good air (sometimes could blow your head off) and you get to anchor your head onto the window so you wouldn’t slide down the seat. Which brings us to
Rule no : 2 – all buses by default have seats shaped into an angle that appears no where in geometry with the sole purpose of making sure you come sliding down your seat 10 secs after you have hoisted yourself up! (the ‘ol Tom and Jerry trick).
Rule no : 3 – never expect peace at night. There will most definitely be some movie playing all night, especially the loud ones that educate you on villainism (‘How to be a villain for dummies’). The driver and the conductor will be locked out at the front and listening to the 80’s classics but no, YOU have to endure the ultrasonics.
Rule no : 4 – if you are a germ freak stop being one immediately. All night-riders pull up for pit stops where the rest rooms or rest-whatever-structure that is will make you wish you could go blind, deaf and insensitive to smell all at once. But you have an 8-hour drive in the night and you are not exactly a Yogi to control your impulses. That’s the only time I wish I were a guy!
Rule no : 5 – most bus drivers are wannabe pilots and since they’ve been denied a stick they try to make do with the bucket of bolts you are traveling in. If you are blessed with the kind of roads I get to travel through sometimes, you might even have the privilege to get your femur interchanged with your neck bones or your vertebra in pieces!
Then there are the usuals. You are a goner if your neighbor is any of these - talkative, religious, fat, smelly, flirtatious, tossy in sleep or has a high decibel snore. I’ve had friends tell me they sometimes get bitten by bed-mites! Mosquitos are denizens of any bus and I’ve never been this fond of repellent-creams before.
These aside I love everytime I travel by bus. Am nocturnal and the night amazes me. The wind in my face, my favourite song in my i-Pod, a bar of chocolate in hand, thinking about everything I wanted to simply because I have time at hand and most of all the fact that am going home – Ah! Bliss.
P.S: don’t ask me about when I come back…
Image courtesy : http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=907864&page=54