Friday, September 05, 2008

I take the bus

Since I'm working Saturdays, I get to take a 5 day holiday in lieu each month. I just took my first one to Jaipur and Delhi.

Much to my colleagues' displeasure, I insisted on giving up the car I'm supposed to be provided with and travelling by bus. Apart from environmental objections, I was in desparate need of a little independence.

I felt quite proud of myself, heading off without a guidebook and a few pages printed off googlemaps. The pride died, however, when I got on the bus to Jaipur, got off again to buy a magazine and then returned to find the bus had driven off with my luggage inside.

In a panic I asked people where it was and they advised to chase it by auto and try and join at a secondary stop at the edge of the city. I jumped into the nearest auto and the driver sped off. He was a champion, yelling at people to try and get to the front of the queue at each red light.

We arrived at the stop and got sent round a corner by a ticket seller. I shoved 100 rupees into the auto driver's hand and we both started running. As we rounded the corner I could see my bus just starting to drive off.

I caught up and ran along banging the side of the bus. The door opened and I jumped in, almost collapsing in relief at the sight of my bag full of Darjeeling tea, battery chargers, Diesel jeans and other preciouses. Apart from the fear of losing those, I'd worried I'd never be allowed to take a bus again!

And the trip back from Delhi was no less exciting. I groaned inwardly as a very talkative Delhi police officer sat down next to me. Once we'd got friendly and I'd heard all about his children and views on the death penalty (totally against), he lowered his voice and started to tell me (over a bag of Kurkure chips) about encounter killings he'd made.

Possibly another thing I'd be better off not telling colleagues. Who'd drive and miss this kind of excitement?


Mustafa Qadri said...

Glad you got your bag back mate. Know the feeling. Never a dull moment in these parts.

Knuffy's Owner said...

You're lucky you've got long legs and can run fast!

j a s o n said...

I'd like to think its a little of the mountain of good Karma you have built up!!

Good to see you are enjoying the adventure of it all - sounds amazing!

Joe said...

Jason, I was thinking the same thing. I credited it to the tips I had been giving rickshaw walas and the prayers I'd made in a mosque, temple and sufi shrine the previous day :)