Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bussing to Nowhere

As I type this, I should be on a bus heading back to my village (Bhorugram)....but I'm not, thanks to India's ridiculously confusing bus system. For those non-hindi readers out there, you pretty much have to rely on the kindness of strangers to help you get to where you're going....because all schedules and destinations are posted only in Hindi.

So basically, this is my story.I left my trainee guesthouse in Jaipur at 6:45 this morning and caught a rickshaw to the main bus depot. Upon arrival, I tried talking to 2 ticket agents, both of which insisted on speaking to me in Hindi, even though they understood exactly what I was saying in English. But finally, on my third try, I found someone who was wiling to help me out. The conversation went something like this.

Me - "Kya bus jao Rajgarh hai" (very broken hindi translating to "What bus is go Rajgarh"
Him - "Rajgarh mummble mummble leaves at 7:35"
Me - "Thike" (Ok)

So I bought my ticket for a whopping 2 dollars, and got on the bus. About an hour into the ride, I noticed the shadows of the trees were pointing the wrong way......we were headed east.....and I knew I was supposed to be going north. Faaaaack. I knew that ticket was too cheap. Another hour later, we came to our first stop where I got off, and hopped on a bus headed straight back to where I came. But of course, that bus wasn't heading to the main bus depot, but rather some random bustand on the outskirts of the city. Thank god for rickshaws. Anyway, 6 hours and several dollars later I'm back where I started, a little wiser. Good thing my punctuality is unheard of in this country.....otherwise my bosses would be pretty pissed haha.

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