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Story: It 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 adventure.

@carinevanslageren
carinevanslageren.com

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