The Bus Ride From Hell

Getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia, our next travel destination could possibly have been done in less than an hour flight for the more lucrative traveler. For Shosh and I, the 12-hour overnight bus would have to do.

This bus was your standard Grayhound/Egged transport. But, for Turkey, this was first class comfort. To assert this fact, we were treated to the bus equivalent of a stewardess giving out bottled water, coffee and tea, fresh coca cola, moist towelettes, little chocolate cakes and some weird antibiotic rub (I think).. actually this very well could have been Pine-sol. When they got me thinking the caviar was right around the corner, the trouble begin to start.
Continued ...

First of all I really had to pee. The combination of funneling all these free beverages down our throats and travel nerves was creating a desperate problem. The first stop we make I jump up and am out the door. That’s when I run smack into the cigarette cloud of our driver. There was lots of yelling, but I got the impression that I was not allowed to use the bathroom now. Not enough time. Then we waited there for 45 minutes. During this time span our bus was infiltrated with people in the aisles selling candy, sandwiches, bread, and seriously – pillows. I wrote off buying a pillow because they were 101 Dalmatian pillows and damn if I’ll be caught dead sleeping on that.

About two hours down the road the pee break was granted. Shosh and I dash off, and to our surprise, get experience toilets outside of touristville. At first I though I may have entered the men’s room. But viewing the long-standing line of women in layers and layer of flowing clothing squelched that theory. Nope, this was a small porcelain hole that I got to pee in. I do a quick mental review of all the amazing times I was privileged enough to relieve myself in the quite natural woods and outdoors and sigh, and squat. The smell of ammonia was nauseating, but not as bad as the excrement that really can’t be flushed if one is using a small hole. I make a mental note after this that I am not drinking anything ever again.

Back on the bus it was movie time. The DVD was inserted and became clear that this was bought of the street, probably at the first stop with the Dalmatian pillows. But the cast and plot looked good - some jail break movie with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. And we were about to get all excited when.. it was in Turkish. Of course. Then the babies started crying. For hours. And coughing. They never stopped coughing for the next 9 hours. I think I have tuberculosis now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I laughed a lot when I read about the bus ride. BTW, I am a Turkish guy. You are absolutely right about the bus trip.. I had similar experiences before. I sometimes want to ask tourists that why do they come to Turkey? To experience chaos? lol.

Take care,
Optimus Prime

6:26 PM  
Blogger Shosh said...

I think those babies with TB were a whole family who purchased only 2 seats. Remember? It was 4 people in the row in front of us . . . how did we not catch TB? And, moreover, how did we not catch 8 other diseases between the confined bus situation, not being allowed to urinate -- oh wait, once in a poo laden ceramic hole leading to an aqueduct of excrement. It must have been the pine sol wipes that saved us.

10:57 PM  

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