20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog


The other reason that I hate night buses is that you don't get to see anything, there were no daytime options from McLeod back to Delhi so I had to take my last one of this trip. I could tell that we were going through great scenery as there was enough of a moon to see the outlines of lush valleys and monsoon-engorged rivers but not enough to apreciate it properly.

Sometimes I really love Israelis despite some of the things I say, sometimes they serve a purpose that no one else can fill, they can complain like no other. The two Hebie girls sat opposite to me on this bus were of the highest calibre, they started complaining before we left the car park. I love the way the words (in English anyway) are always polite, the tone is anything but polite - "Excuse me!" [Oh you horrible little man], "can you come here please?" [come here now of face the consequences]. They complained that they were being 'drifted on', she started out with 'dripped on' but after a few revisions settled for drifted on. There was condensation dripping from the non-functioning AC so they changed seats with an Indian couple who obviously preferred being drifted on than listening to foreign women droning on. Then whenever the bus stopped for more than 30 seconds they had to shout out 'what is happening?, why are we stopping?'. To be fair to the Issies, the major entertainment was provided by the pissed, aging Italian hippie who had got himself onto the wrong bus but threatened to call his Embassy when they tried to get him to get off. Eventually they came to a compromise that he could pay for this bus and then try to get a refund from the company he bought the ticket from in Delhi (some chance) and after a bit more shouting and Italian expletives he fell asleep for the rest of the trip.

Other than the standard puncture and wheel change the rest of the trip to Delhi was quiet and eventless, I even managed a reasonable amount of sleep despite the fact that the seat in front of mine was so far reclined that I couldn't move my legs and ended up with knee-cramp. Whoever invented the reclining seat should have been strangled at birth.

It was raining lightly but persistently in Delhi, officially the monsoon had arrived the day before with a downpour of the scale we had in McLeod, most of the countryside we passed after the sun came up were flooded. The bus dumped us out at the Tibetan Refuge colony on the outskirts of the city but the first rickshaw to approach me asked for less than my prepared offer so no real problem there.



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