Why is travelling in India so hilarious? Each trip is so full of extraordinary events and sensations that I feel totally overwhelmed before I've even started. Today, intending to go to Vellore by the previously mentioned early morning bus from the campus, I staggered off my double layer of ryvita - otherwise know as mattresses - at a truly hideous hour. I then forewent breakfast as it was not immediately forthcoming, chatted briefly to the manager of RUHSA about the fact that my crappily cheap mobile phone has gone on strike - not only will it not allow me to use the original sim card despite having both reception and credit, but it also won't let me use an Indian sim card either - and then hung around waiting for the bus. I don't know how in God's name I managed it, but I missed the arrival of the honking, dust-raising, people-laden, jingling, clanking rust bucket completely. Luckily someone was on hand to rescue me and he kindly volunteered a poor unsuspecting passer-by to give me a lift on the back of his moped to the nearest bus stop. The gentleman looked at me and then at his tyre pressure and valiantly suppressed his dismay. I tentatively sat sidesaddle clutching the handholds fearfully. There were some truly terrifying lurches as he put his feet on the pedals and prepared to move off. The moped grunted and wobbled off at 3 miles an hour, a single flicker of my eyebrows seemed to be sufficient to set it off balance, but astonishingly, no doubt thanks to the skill of the driver who clearly felt that stopping for anyone or anything would be a Bad Idea and so wove his way expertly through the other traffic and around potholes, we made it to the bus stop without event. It was the most hair-raising 200 yards of my life. Until I got on the bus.
Obviously, it is exremely funny to be roughly three times the size of everyone else, but when you have about 150 people crammed into one bus, it becomes a pantomine. I had 2 saried bottoms resting on mine, one on each of my buttocks, and we all three swayed and swirled in rhythm. Some poor girl was trying to text on her mobile but she was eye level to my boobs which yet again invaded someone else's space. Although space is probably not the right word. In all honesty, I don't really think you've experienced intimacy until you've been on a local bus in India, forget about sex, it's a million times more intimate than that. And with a lot more people.