Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trying to "Do" Like the Locals

Started off with a lovely breakfast of my favorite idly’s, chutney, and samba.  I said goodbye to my lovely host family in Pondicherry and off I went to wait for the bus.  The buses in the morning are very crowded in pretty much any city because kids are heading to school and adults are heading off to work.   If one bus is crowded in India, another one is most likely trailing behind just as crowded. 
The bus quickly arrives in front of me and I look over in hesitation as there are boys hanging off both the front and back and little space for my bag.  The boys shout at me, “Come on” so I hop on with them in the middle of the steps.  There is me with my backpack and 5 boys hanging off the last step into the street.  I do not think much of my bag being in the way because I know I will be getting off shortly.

The bus conductor is shaking his head looking at my backpack and tells me to get off and go to the back.  The bus stops and I head to the back where there is another conductor.  Arriving quickly at the back, I see the bus begin to move and think “This bus is not leaving without me and I better jump on.” I decide to do like the locals and make a jump for the stairs. 

Normally this would work for without a bag, but I forgot about my 30 lb backpack and 10 lb carry on.  I jump up and then miss the step collapsing on the ground with my hands first to the ground.  People around look at me like “Oh shit the foreigner just fell” and others look at me and laugh about it.  I decide to lift myself back up and get on the bus.  I was angry that he blew the whistle when he saw me coming for the bus and I knew he intentionally did it because he did not want me on the bus.  It is just a backpack, but it seemed to be such a  big deal.  Roosters, chickens, and large bags of rice can go on the bus, but the backpack is not allowed? I do not understand this at all. 

 I head on the bus and point to where I was standing and my bag and indicate to him that I am not moving off the bus.  He looks down and says nothing to me after that point and I check to see if I received any bruises from the fall.  Of course, I have a cut on my left knee, which adds to the millions of bruises I already have.  My left hand is cut up and it does not look nice.  Oh if only these legs could talk what would they say? No one says anything to me, but they just stare and have no regards for my fall.  Oh well, this is India and I am an amateur bus jumper ha!

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