Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ode to the Sleeper Bus

I remember back when I was in college one weekend my roommate and I decided to make an unexpected trip to London, just to get away. Before hitting the highway we stopped in at the corner store to buy road food. There was no way we could survive the whole hour long drive without fuelling up our own systems on junk food.

Oh for the day when driving an hour was considered a road trip. Last week was a national holiday. With our week off my classmate and I decide to hit the road and go travelling. She had never visited the southern part of our region. I wanted to take her to my favourite little town in the area. The only draw back is that it is a twenty hour bus ride. You read that right 20 hours on the bus. But not just any bus… the dreaded sleeper bus. The first time I rode a sleeper bus out here I swore to myself I would never do it again. Unfortunately it is the only means of transportation to many of the surrounding towns and therefore I have broken my promise to myself at least 15 times.

Why do I write an “ode to the sleeper Bus” you might ask. I mean in does sound more comfortable than sitting upright for that long of a time. But Oh those sleeper buses, are anything but comfortable. I am a fairly small sized adult and even still I just fit onto the bed. My head brushes the top; my toes are painfully jamming into the end. If I put my purse on the bed beside me (which is necessary if you want to leave with all of your money and documents) I feel like it is hogging half of the space. It is not just the minisculeness of my sleeping space that sparked the Ode… but rather the whole experience. In a regular sized bus they cram in three rows of double stacked beds. In the middle of the night they pick up travelers on the highway and sell them cheap seats. These people end up sleeping in the aisles, so that when you wake up there is a stranger sleeping only inches from your face. The whole bus smells of feet odour since everyone takes off their shoes. To reduce the smell the driver will sometimes come through and spray air freshener until you can’t breath and wind up gasping at the sealed shut windows.

So in our one week holiday my classmate and I spent over 40 some odd hours enjoying this cultural experience. You will have to wait till the next blog to hear about bathroom stops along the way.

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