Friday, May 1, 2009

A bus trip with 'colleagues' in the foreign land.

I wake up, my bags are packed. I remember when I did the same to go to Ganapatipule or some trek in bombay. I check again to see if my camera and lenses are there. I am at Max Planck Institute, on time, few people are already waiting for the bus , and it doesnt seem like everyone has arrived. Of course I dont know everyone here, unlike in Bombay where I almost knew everyone. I see some familiar faces who I think might not give a cold shoulder, and are reasonably friendly. If only I was in Bombay!!!

The bus arrives. A mercedes. Complete air conditioned, no openable windows. I felt the hot breeze on my face when I pop my head out of the open windows of the bombay buses. It used to be so comfotable to puke. in case. Filthy air conditioners. My trip is going to be hell. I think about what would I do if I get motion sick. I had no tablets, and getting tablets here means going to a german doctor, explain him simulating the vomitting body language and riding a bus around him, hoping that he understood what was my problem and give me the right tablets. No. Lets depend on a half cut lemon. When I was a kid and living in southern India, my mami used to give it to me on bus rides, and it seemed to work. So, there I was, with a half cut lemon in the pocket and a polythene bag, for I expected the windows to be not openable and if the lemon didnt do the trick.

By the time I was imagining this, all the safed and few clever brown people had already dumped the bags in luggage cabin and gone and captured their favourite spots in the bus. Great. and then comes the second bus. I have to be fast now. I establish my temporary dominion over a window seat in the middle of the bus, hoping that the window seat will atleast partially simulate similar condition to indian busses and keep me from puking. One indian friend comes and asks me if someone is sitting here. I answer. She has now a 'Do not do this to yourself' face expression on her face. Then she asks me if she can keep her bag there, and she sits infront with some stranger safed girl. I tell her that if she is not sitting, then dont keep the bag, atleast some nice german girl will come and sit. Not that I care about who was going to sit there, but, was I going to maltreat her if she sat there?? Anyway, thats her business, but why does she want to protect the other passengers from me with the bag barricade. Comfortably enough, the seat remained empty. I miss my assistant and many other friends. If only she had been there, I wouldn't need to think so much and not have my ear phones for songs.

The bus starts. utter silence. I pop my head up and have a look around. Everyone seated. no noises. most of them have earphones in their ear. half an hour, I do it again. no sound. I put back my earphones. Zindagi... kaisi ye paheli hai..


Angika said...

This is one of those few times when my words fail me :)

silent_rebel said...

study harder for your GRE. I see you are not doing well here.

Mayuri said...


sigh. Life, like these bus journeys, is a ride with all these hiccups, I guess..

makes it a better ride if you have the right company though.. :|

Nice post.