In the spirit of us all actually posting on the blog, here's a piece which might entertain you (or not, as the case may be). I did it for the 'story in dialogue' theme and as usual, it's based on real events. It's a reworking of an article I read out ages ago...and is a rarity: it doesn't include any references to toilets.......
How long did it take, then?
Twenty two and a half hours to be exact – nightmare. Music blaring, bones rattling, body smells that made you retch. Probably the worst journey I’ve ever done.
What the hell were you doing, going to – what’s it called? - Amhedabad anyway?
No idea. This woman came up to me on the platform,. Shoved her face up to my chin and started babbling about tickets. Couldn’t understand a word…
So how come you ended up on a bus then?
Good question. She kept pointing at the word Amdawotsit on the ticket, smiling, pointing at me and shoving me towards the bus shelter…it dawned on me after a few minutes that she was giving me her ticket…must’ve overheard me complaining that there was no train to Pushkar, I s’pose. She probably thought she was doing me a favour
And was she?
Hmm..well, I figured out that if I got as far as whatever its called, the fare from there to Pushkar wouldn’t be much, so I thought, what the hell? Why not? And that was it. Decision made
So what did she do? Start screaming for money?
Nah - just gave me the ticket then pushed off. I grabbed a seat and sat back to sleep. But that’s when I found out the bus I was on was a shitty old rustbucket . Plastic seats your bum stick to ‘cause you’re so sweaty…crammed in with dozens of people, all pushing and shouting….
Hah! I was by the window so I forced it open – that was a mission I can tell you - and closed my eyes…then when I woke up I thought I felt water on my cheek..but when I opened my eyes it wasn’t raining outside, so I wiped my cheek with my hand and… shit…nearly threw up. The old woman in the seat in front of me had gobbed out of her window and it had come back in through mine to land on my face
Bloody hell- that’s gross! What did you do?
I was so furious I belted her round the back of her head. She shrieked and turned round and glared—but I just made a retching sound and pointed at my face. She turned round and shut up
Yuk…oh god it sounds horrendous
It was…. nearly 24 hours of being thrown from side to side, hot and sticky and smelly – god the stink of fetid armpits, dog breath and farts…someone must have had a dead rat up their arse, it was so gross..
Too much information! What happened when you got there? To Wotsitabad…?
Got off, knees nearly buckling from exhaustion, and trudged along a road till I found a ‘rooms’ sign: ‘Shanti pissful sleeping shop 500 rupees very nice and chip’
I crashed on the rock hard bed, zonked out for a few hours then staggered along to the train station and here I am – ready to go and look at camels!
You smell like you spent the night with some of them. Anyway the camel fair started this morning so shall we grab a lassi then get going?
Yeah, sounds like a plan. I’m gonna have a bang lassi – the one with some dope in it…I need to chill and get over my 22 and a half hour overnight bus ride from hell…