May 15, 2010
We were instructed by AIESEC Delhi to take the night bus from Delhi to Lucknow, and so we did. I wasn't prepared however for what was to come. I just thought, okay, a bus ride won't be bad at all.. I didn't even think about it. It wasn't my first time to ride one anyway. I ride buses all the time.. back home. I thought wrong. Why didn't I ask around? Indians don’t like riding the bus. Even Udayan from AIESEC Delhi who accompanied us said he never takes the bus. That weekend, we were in for a uniquely Indian experience.
We were picked up by 2 taxis at the intern house by 5pm We then went to the bus station to get our bus tickets for a 6:30pm trip which were said were reserved for us days before. Apparently not. With the help of Bobby, we were able to get new tickets for an 8pm trip.
Typically, we waited…and waited…and waited. Indian time, right? From 7pm, we just sat and chatted, watched over our luggage, bought some snacks, then later walked around. We waited..waited.. Until the bus came at around 11pm.
Waiting, waiting, waiting..
From L-R: Yi Ni, Khar Khee, Pasha, Bobby, Tamara and me
Thank god for an A/C bus! Otherwise, it would've been more dreadful. Lucknow was 500 kms away. Pretty far, but not worth spending 16 hours on the road for! It could've been done in a much shorter time. The driver stopped within the first 30mins, then again and again and again for what we thought were neverending breaks. At the time we were also about 30mins away from Lucknow station, we stopped for his lunch. It wasn't even noon. He killed our excitement to get off.
Adding to the reasons above, buses don’t take highways to avoid paying the toll. The roads taken are not very good at all, therefore the ride takes very long, and gets very, very bumpy and uncomfortable. We all kept jumping off our seats! We all hardly slept the whole 16 hours, especially Daan. For a guy who's beyond 6 feet tall, you can just imagine how uncomfortable it was for him with all the luggage crowded around us.
When we finally reached Lucknow, our TN's cars picked us up and brought us to the Youth Hostel where we were to stay. We were so, so relieved with our A/C rooms and with how much we were taken cared of as were served with coffee and chai and were welcomed by Gaurav of SSS, and later that night, by KC, the CEO of SSS.
If you know Indians, you know how much they love spoiling their guests! :)