The Road to Bangalore...
My 'Deluxe AC Semi-Sleeper Volvo' bus.
November 13, 2007

Why do I constantly do things I said I would never do again? Why do I constantly trust people at travel agencies? Why do I
never learn my lesson?

I am talking about the overnight bus trip I just endured to get here from Goa.

I would have had no problem flying here at all. But based on the times/schedules nothing seemed very ideal. Somebody at an
agency told me that the buses are very nice and a good option. But I had taken an overnight bus ride last year and it was pure
hell. They assured me that this was a nice deluxe Volvo bus…and even recommended it over the overnight train. A deluxe
Volvo bus? Sounded like an Indian bus of a different caliber from what I was used to. Overnight bus it would be.

At Stop #1 an hour into our trip all I could think was ‘I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself.’ At that moment, upon finding
out we had another 12 hours to go, I was cursing myself and telling myself that any amount of money would be worth it to
spend to not have to endure what I was enduring.

My ‘A/C semi-sleeper’ compartment was a nightmare. There were reclining chairs on the bottom; sleepers (flat bed type
things) on the top. I opted out of that as there were two next to each other that were barely separated by a couple
centimeters. I wasn’t really about to spend the night squished up against some Indian man – which would have been the case
as there were no females up on those things. There was one big blast of air coming from the middle. All of the chair
compartments were covered by a curtain. This turned out to be the best thing about the ride as it made me not pay attention
to the people sleeping directly next to me on the floor of the bus.

Also let me say that Indians don’t like to go to bed early. Nope. Thank goodness for earplugs. Even around midnight, I could
mildly hear the party taking place. And since most of these people had sleeper seats, bare feet were dangling all over the place
for us on the bottom in the semi-sleepers. As I said before, thank goodness for those curtains!

The next time I opened my eyes, my watch said 3:47am. I couldn’t believe I just got almost 4 hours of sleep. Of course I was
woken up to the rowdy Indians. Apparently this ride is much more fun for others than it was for me. I went right back to
sleep…and with the exception of constantly needing to squirm in my seat to make myself (and my poor aching neck)
comfortable. The next time I woke up it was 8am. Hallelujah! I survived the night. Now all I had was the large Indian woman
next to me asking me for food the same way the kids on the street do. Ummm, I had five ginger cookies with me for the 13-
hour trip. I think the answer was “No, I don’t have food to share with you!” Of course I didn’t say that…I just shook my head.

Now that it was morning, I could spend the rest of my time on the bus listening to my ipod. I held off on listening to it all night
so that it would have battery power left for times like these – the last three hours on a bus.

We arrived in Bangalore (actually ‘Bengaluru’ is the new name of the city as of November 2006 – who knew?) around 11am.

I am vowing once again (and this time I mean it) to never take another overnight Indian bus ride in my life. But now that I am
here, I have almost forgotten about the pain of it all…
Back to India.