Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bus Trips From Hell

A word to the wise from one who knows.

If you're about to take a 12 hour bus trip and you're feeling a little peaky then think long and hard about delaying your journey.

Do not do what I did in Turkey last month. While eating dinner an hour before an 800 km trip from Istanbul to Goreme I started feeling slightly nauseous. Not wanting to be a big girls blouse and go through the hassle of rebooking bus tickets I decided I'd tough it out. After all how bad could it be??

As it turned out - very.

An hour into the trip I developed the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had in my entire life. Frantic gesticulation to the bus attendant saw paper towels delivered. Even more frantic miming of being sick finally got what I was after - a bag to be sick in. And only just in time too as I was literally handed said plastic bag at the exact moment my stomach decided it was time to blow the ballast. Thus began the 12 most miserable hours of my life.

Imagine, if you will, sitting in a superheated bus (for some reason Turkish buses are kept at about 30 degrees) while your stomach is tying itself in knots and you feel as if your intestines are trying to crawl up your throat.

Then, as you sit there in abject misery dry retching because there's literally nothing left to come up, you feel a deadly twinge in an area located just below your stomach and grimly realise that you're about to be running at both ends!!

Dear God please kill me now.

All I can say is I'm truly thankful that intercity buses in Turkey do make frequent rest stops. If it were not for them I believe - no know - an already gruesome situation would have been far worse.

And far messier.

I do have an extreme amount of sympathy for my fellow passengers. Especially the poor woman behind me who ended up being sick in sympathy, (the trend of one person chucking setting off others holds true) and the endangered soul in front of me who may have got a bit of carrot splatter from my first outburst. To those who suffered while I spewed I heartily apologise.

Actually there was a weird sort of symmetry to the whole occasion. You see the last time I was really ill from food poisoning prior to this occasion was on a bus, in Turkey, travelling to Goreme, exactly 11 years previously.


Suffice it to say I won't be doing that trip again ... ever.

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