Montag, 9. November 2009

Indian Sleeper

Leaving Udaipur there is no train to Jodhpur und on to Jaisalmer. So I get a fare on a sleeper bus at 10pm. I have heard from other travelers about these excuses for a means of transportation.
There is two seats at one side and one on the other and a small isle between them. But while in Argentina this made for threee luxury seats similar to an airplane's business class, here it's a rather cramped arrangement. Apparently busses are somewhat narrower here.
Above the regular seats are little comparments seperated by walls from each other and with sliding windows to the outside and the interior of the bus. On the one side is a double sleeper for two people, on the other side a single. I got a single, thank god.
However I wonder how to get into this tiny comparment while taking also by small carry on bag.
I manage to get in. But it's too small to strech all the way. It must be no more than 170cm long and maybe 60 wide. In oder not to bang my head against the rear wall I have to angle my legs up, they are almost touching the ceiling. I have to fight the image of lying in a coffin. At least that would be about my size. Truely no for claustrophobic people!
We leave Udaipur and wind our way out of the city. There is a lot of honking, breaking acceleratiing again, bumping over elevations in the road and crashing through pot holes. It's impossible to lay in one's side for roling back and forth all the time.
After we have left the city I notive the double compartment opposite of mine is empty. I over and make myslef comfortable using the full diagonal. This is actually quite ok. I wonder whether it's possible to buy a double for oneself if simply paying for two people or whether they will charge double but still only give one a sigle (or maybe two...). Anything is possible in India.
About an hour later we stop again and there are two guys lurking into my compartment. They call the bus whalla because their space is taken. He tells me to get out and I go back to my single (which surprisingly is still empty!).
We leave town again and continue on a road so bad, the entire bus is shaking and banging. It is hard to breath because laying on one's back the wind is constantly beat out of oneself with every bump in the road. No slepp is to be found. It reminds me of the the sandpists like corrugated sheet metal in africa. Quite a smooth ride when driven over with the correct speed. But one hell of a ride when too slow or to fast. This ride is both.
I am seriously worried about the bus and me in my little sleeping compartment. There is again the picture of a roling coffin. I am only glad I'm on the left side, opposite oncoming traffic (people drive on the left side here - supposedly). It we crash into an other truck or bus it's not going to be my side. But if we tip over trying to avoid it, I am the first to hit the ground.
Still I manage to get a couple of minuites of sleep in before we reach Jodhpur at four something in the morning, surprisingly ahead of schedule.
We are shown to our connecting bus, just regular seats.
In the safty of a parking bus I close my eyes and actually sleep a little until the bus is staring to fill at five in the morning.
Then we are off again. Six westerners and a busful of Indians.
The sun is staring to come up but it is still freezing cold.
Just like in the previous bus, the windows keep juddering open. I close them again but 20min. later I get reminded by the increasing cold wind that the windows are too far open again.
With the raising sun, the air starts warming up. I keep my fleece jacket on though until we are all the way in Jaisalmer.
We pull into the bus station and once again there is a frenzy of u trying to get to us. They are kept a bay by a policeman swingling a large stick at them.
I spot my name on a sign and head over for my ride.
I'm glad I made it.


Anonymous Anonym said...

Mann, da hast Du Dir aber etwas angetan! Das ist ja nicht nur Abenteuer, das ist ja auch noch Strapaze !!! Aber bei mehr Komfort wäre so eine Busverbindung für die Inder wohl nicht mehr bezahlbar ... Diese sleeping compartments sind ja echte Rattenlöcher, bei Tag wahrscheinlich absolut unerträglich (für unsereinen). In China auf der Seidenstrasse haben wir solche Busse auf der Langstrecke gesehen, die waren 30 Stunden am Stück unterwegs! Wohl dem, der sich einen Flieger leisten kann - so es eine Flugverbindung gibt ...
Jetzt in Jaisalmer erst mal viel Spass wuenscht
Pa der Vadder

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Indienexperte aus Vörstetten said...

Mannomann, das kann ich mir vorstellen, dass dich das den letzten Nerv gekostet hat.
Ich sachs ja, dieses Jaisalmer, das ist ab vom Schuss, da kommt man nicht so recht hin.
Ein Glück hammer dich wieder.
Viele Grüße dein Indienexperte aus Vörstetten

11:38 PM  

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