Monday, February 20, 2006

The Dirty Bus to Delhi

I'm in Delhi now. I've got a ticket on the night train to Varnasi later this afternoon, putting me there bright and early tomorrow morning.

Last night's bus trip wasn't particularly remarkable. Although, as I paid extra for a sleeper bus - I did actually sleep most of the journey.

A few things are worth noting...

When I left Diu a few weeks ago, my bus was searched 3 (i think) times en route into mainland Gujurat. The police came on-board, and picked out the usual suspects (all Indians, all who looked like they might be smuggling alcohol into a dry state). I was ignored, because foreigners can buy alcohol everywhere, once they show their tourist visa.

However, the bus from Manali->Delhi is different. I was warned multiple times by people ahead of time that the bus would be stopped, and that only the foreigners would be searched.

I wasn't carrying anything illegal, so I didn't really have anything to worry about. It's still rather unpleasant to be searched though - and it seems that fate shined on our bus, as we were spared the state-border checkpoint. I'd carefully packed my bags at the guest-house earlier that day to make sure that all my dirty underwear and wet towels were right near the opening of the bag... No sense in making their job more pleasant than it has to be ;)

There was an Indian couple (married, I assume) in the upper sleeper bunk across the aisle from me on the bus. While there was a cloth curtain to provide some level of privacy, it was in no way designed to try and conceal the fact that they were actively trying to join the sleeper-bus-equivilant of the Mile High Club.

Some things I just don't understand. A sleeper bus packed with other passengers, no walls, no secrets. Quite shocking really, as I've not even seen Indian married couples kissing in public - let alone doing this kind of thing.

Had they been a foreign couple, I was planning on saying something sarcastic in the morning. But as the curtain was pulled back in the morning, to reveal an Indian couple - I was so shocked that I couldn't think of anything to say.

No comments: