is hot outside and incredibly humid. I’ve opened the window
next to me to allow a breeze to bellow in as we drive. Still, every
inch of my body is sweating. My legs cling to the polyester bus
seats like a static skirt grasps at your calves. We’re three hours
in and have roughly seven more to go. Across the aisle sits a man
who is resting his head against the window, eyes closed. The noise
around us doesn’t seem to bother him.
I realign my gaze to the outside world. People sell fruit and
vegetables while others take naps in the shade; children play with
wooden wheels with stray dogs wandering alongside them. Roughly
every hour, the bus stops. People get off, people get on. Vendors
reach out to us through the windows, peddling bottles of cold
water, lassis and samosas. The engine starts running again and the
last vendor fades away as we drive off.
Five sweaty hours later we are still folded up into our
two-tiered seats, speeding down a bumpy highway. Hours seem to meld
into one as it gets dark outside and the bus keeps on driving.
Finally, it stops. We have made it to our next destination:
Udaipur. Several rickshaw drivers are lined up just beyond the bus
stop, ready to take us to our accommodation. We collect our things
and ready ourselves for haggling over taxi fares. On to the next