Unfortunately my friends bus was already full & I had to take a separate one. I was terrified the bus would be full of leering Indian men & I really didn’t feel comfortable taking the trip alone. I told myself that I would check the bus first & if I didn’t feel safe I would take a tuktuk back to the hostel. I have learnt how invaluable & precious my safety is & now I also have to nurture my peace of mind.
My bus pulled up ahead of schedule before 9.30pm & I was the only passenger for this bus line (there were about 12 other backpackers at the stop but naturally none were on my bus – where is my luck of the Irish!?). I was hustled on to the bus while it was still moving & quickly ushered into the wrong numbered bunk. I glimpsed at a few females & westerners so I felt a little reassured. For the record, I have never been racist or felt unsafe travelling but I have clearly been affected by my experience a few nights ago & as a result I now have a heightened sense of insecurity & fear with Indian men. I do not apologise in any way for this reflex response. I know that obviously not all Indian men behave like this or will endanger me, but now they illicit these feelings & I stand by my learnt behaviour to be cautious of them.
The trip to Hampi was super bumpy. I tried to sleep but keep being jostled around on my bunk. I was smug that I had some experience in a rocky cabin at sea & I tried to liken it to a rough night on the mediterranean. The smooth parts felt oddly similar to my old bunk at starboard forward.
My tried & tested method of only eating simple western food prior to a long bus journey & limit liquid intake ensured I didn’t have to endure any toilet breaks. I don’t really recommend the reduced water intake for hydration reasons but it makes for a smoother journey for me without having to leave the bus, experience dreadful toilets, or wee on the street etc with the added ambition hope of sleeping right through the trip – I wish!
I arrived in Hampi at 5am & there was a throng of tuktuk drivers awaiting our arrival. I was swamped with them offering their services aggressively & relentlessly. How many times do I have to say ‘no thank you’. I really try to be polite & clear but the incessant repetition brings out an aggressive side in me. I found a couple going to the same hostel as me & we paid 100R for the bumpiest tuktuk ride of our lives! We had to hold on for dear life as we accelerated over bumps & were thrown in the air & all over!
When we arrived at the Goan Corner hostel there was no one around so we curled up on the sofas & tried to get some more sleep before check in. I anxiously over analysed every sound & tried to convince myself that the monkeys would keep their distance….