Okay, so we went to Pondy. Me Osh NiceHair and NiceEyes, for a lovely two day break.
NiceEyes and Osh planned the whole thing... bus tickets and everything, while I sat around wondering if we were going to go or not and placing bets with my mum.
So anyway, we turn up there at Kalasipalya bus stop, where our travel agent's shop is and where he has promised us the bus will leave at 9.45pm.
We sat there, bus didnt come.
Its ten o' clock.
Finally the travel agent guy leads us through the rain and squelching mud to this rickety bus one would imagine chickens are transported in.
Thats our bus.
We get in and Osh and me find our seat numbers: 15, 16, 17, 18.
There's a boy sitting there. I tell him to get up, he throws attitude at me. I tell him this is our seat, he refuses to budge. I yell at him loudly in Kannada, he looks uncomfortable and sidles out. Me and Osh sit down.
"What the hell. First of all this bus is nothing we expected or paid for! Then this dude tries to grab our seat! What the hell!"
"Seriously MM! No way are we moving from here! We've paid for these seats, we sit in them, thats that!"
Coupla minutes later, drunk very loud, very authoritative conductor comes and tells us in no uncertain terms that we have to get up. I shout again, and look to the window for help from our good for nothing travel agent. He tells me yes yes, we have to get up.
We get up and are led to the front of the bus where drunk rude loud conductor tells us the story.
Our original bus has broken down, travel agent has requested him for four seats on this bus, and out of the kindness of his heart, he has agreed.
Two seats on the bench opposite the driver (which seats four, but which now has to be shared by six)
And two "mission" seats.
"What the hell is that?"
"Ingine ma, ingine."
Two of us'd have to sit on the bloody engine, next to the driver. One can only imagine how burnt our behinds would be after ten hours of that.
We're angry. But we want to get to Pondy. If this is how it has to be done, so be it.
After telling travel agent we'd be back for full refund, we set off, NiceHair on the "ingine", NiceEyes and Osh on the seat, me on Osh's lap.
To my right, pregnant lady, half sitting on husband, half on us, throwing up at regular intervals. Couldnt have been older than any of us. We gave her half our water, she was really grateful. Whispered to me in Tamil, next morning, that her bus stop was coming, and that I should get ready to grab her seat for ourselves before any of the other old hags caught it.
To my left, fat lady in green saree with loads of big big moogbottu and other jewelery, muttering curses at us in Tamil. When I cursed her back in Tamil, she was shocked out of her senses. It felt gooooood. That lady was a real pill. She even hit NiceEyes in the middle of the night. The driver shouted at her then and threatened to throw her off the bus if she didnt start behaving. Real nice chap, he was. Old man, sympathised with us.
NiceHair was stuck with this scheming lady who side-ily came and sat on the engine with her, and refused to get up when Osh decided that her legs were killing her, and that she'd brave the burning engine anyway.
The two of them had to manage on that tiny spot of lava for the last seven hours, in addition to it all, being nudged and pushed around by her.
Bus broke down in the night and we were delayed for half an hour.
We asked sidey lady to shift a little so that Osh had some place to breathe. It wasnt even her goddam seat in the first place for crying out loud.
Pompous old paati sitting behind the driver butts her nose in. This was way too much to take. I yelled at her loudly in Tamil and told her to mind her own business. She shut up. Driver came and peace was restored.
We slept not at all that whole night.
We stopped at 5.30am. But we weren't in Pondy.
We had to take another bus to get there.
The driver was amazing though. I tell you, my knowing Tamil had such benefits. Immediate camaraderie. He didnt let us take the bus the rest were taking, he got us one with seats, and bought us the tickets, advised us to inform the police about this bugger travel agent who took so much money from us, and waved us off, the dear.
What adventures I tell you.
Caught half an hour's shut eye before we finally reached Pondy.
Aaaargh what a journey.