We eventually get to the travel agent’s he’s been dragging me to all along. After all the talk of mind bending terrorist drugs and road side bombs, I had forgotten what the fuck I was looking for. I sat down in the travel agent’s and just sorta let them get on with robbin’ ma money. I coulnd’t even be arsed puttin’ up a fight cause I just wanted to get the fuck out of Goa. So ten minutes later I have a bus ticket to Bombay leaving in five minutes. I bomb it down the street with ma big daft backpack on, wobblin’ side to side and almost knockin’ people over. Just as I get to the door of the bus, these two wee Chilean lassies walked off the bus, bagless and rolling a couple of rollies. They were a couple of crusties like, but definitely very attractive under all that muck. They had those mad Ali Baba trousers and their hair was naturally dredding cause it hadn’t felt a shampoo lather since Santiago. Their faces were that black that they looked like they’d been in a coal mine for three months. I just sorta smiled at them and let them get off, show them that chivalry isn’t dead like. Well, I can’t pretend to be too gentlemanly, I did take a wee peek at their arses before I went up the stairs. I cannae help it man.
This nice, air-conditioned coach was a lot better than the vibrating tool box I rode here on. I had a wee coffin thing that I could lie down in and close the wee door. It was like I was packing maself. Turns out that these wee Chilean girls had the coffin next to mine so as soon as the bus started we struck up conversation. Their English wasnae great but then, neither was mine! We did our best tae try tae communicate but you just end up havin’ the same conversation.
“Where you from? Nice. I’ve always wanted to go there. Where have you been? Great. Yeah, I heard that place was really nice. Yeah, uh huh, yeah I loved it there, so quiet. How long are you here for? Right, yeah, I’m gonna be here for another month and then ….”
You get the idea. Same shit over and over again. But when an attractive albeit grime caked lady is involved in this conversation with you, you tend to up your up your game and pretend it’s the first time you’ve been through this shit. That does sound a bit ignorant of me but you know, I’d love it if now and again someone just approached me with something that wasnae some shite small talk. Asked me how ma first pet died or if I’d rather have feet instead of hands or penises instead of fingers. Just somethin’ a bit more interestin’ you know. But we’re all here for the same reasons though and I’m just happy havin’ people to talk to, even if we are always saying the same things.
After the small talk I just shut my wee coffin, opened the window and had a fag. Watchin’ India pass-by is really somethin’ man I’m tellin’ you. The people, the traffic, the animals everywhere, everyone just hangin’ around and getting on with their business in what I was beginning to learn was a very relaxed pace. Every time we got stuck in traffic, which felt like almost every four feet, people would be pure wavin’ and smilin’ at me, just like that. If you did that in Glasgow, boys’d loose their minds! You can’t just stare and wave at random people in a place like Glasgow. Here though, in India, everyone’s treated like a brother they never knew they had. People want to know your story and you want to know theirs. It’s hard tae put the things I see intae words. I’ll get better at that, I promise.
Anyway, back to the journey. So, obviously, I’m a Scottish man right. I wasn’t born wearing sunglasses. I was born wearing wet socks. India is a hot country and Goa is one of the hotter parts of India. I am not accustomed to sweating without exercising so I was just kicking about in a vest and jeans. I’m thinking more about function than fashion here darlings so please forgive me. But I was hot so I just got stuck into my vest. This however didn’t prove to be such a good decision come the dark of night. I’d got on the bus and thought I’d be too hot if anything and left my sleeping bag in ma rucksack in the back. I only realized that this would be a fairly massive error in judgment at about eight o’clock, when it was far too late to sort it out.
Cause it gets cold here at night man, like turbo Baltic. Ma coffin had a slight gap in the window which let air rush in. Now this was a god send and a much appreciated design flaw during the heat of the afternoon, but I began to curse that bastard crack in the cold of night. It was just whistling through and spraying me with icy cold air for the entire journey. The hairs on ma arms were standing on end and my nipples had gone like pool cue tips. I started contemplating suicide. Not seriously considerin’ it like but you know, gettin’ those casual thoughts, ‘ah could just end it all and everything would be so much easier’. I reckon most people get those thoughts every now and again.
Back and forth I tossed and turned trying to endure this exhausted nightmare. I had done my hip in on the beach in Vagator playing football with some young Indian lads. First time I played in ages. I had trials for Hamilton Accies mind, so I’m not a bad player. But we were dickin’ about, someone kicked the ball up in the air so I jumped for it. I tried tae dae a mad overhead bicycle kick but just ended up getting tangled up in my own lanky limbs and falling into a heap on the beach. I hit the wet sand with a huge belly flop slap and nearly put maself in a fuckin’ wheelchair! So this hip was hurtin’ me every time I moved. And on top of that I’m tryin’ to avoide draft like Vietnam. I almost felt a tear in my eye but I couldnae be sure if that was cause of the cold or because I thought I was gonna lose my nose tae frostbite. As far as yours truly could tell, there was only one way to survive. I ripped off the curtains from my little window and draped them over myself in a desperate attempt to maintain a decent body temperature. These things were no bigger or thcker than cheap, Poundland dish towels. Not exactly the insulating system I was hoping but it was certainly on a par with nothing, if not slightly better.
So there I was trembling like Michael J Fox’s trifle inside this wee mad coffin box thing in a bus in India. I was lyin’ there beggin’ ma brain just to shut down for a wee while and bring this torment a little quicker to its conclusion. Just as I’m beginnin’ to dose off, I start burstin’ for a piss. Like right out of nowhere man, I suddenly need to skoosh somewhere. These roads are like the surface of the moon by the way, so every bump that we went over or crater we fell into was makin’ me need to pee more! I could feel the warm pish sloshing around inside ma bag. My jap’s eye wept a spicy yellow tear with every bump. It was fuckin’ horrible man. The worst part is though, there’s no lavies on these buses so you have to just wait for the driver to decide that he needs a piss, or…you can piss somewhere else.
Now I’m no saint right. I’ve relieved maself in places I shouldn’t have and I’m ashamed to admit that yes, a bus is one of those places. I opted against lying on my side and pissing out of the window because on those bumpy roads it was obvious I would end up covered in piss. The only other option was to pish in a bottle. Now this should pose no problems as I’ve been to T in the Park and anyone with a nose on their face and a gag reflex in their throat knows that an Irn-Bru bottle is better than a festival toilet. I scuffle about in the dark trying to find an empty bottle of water to pish into. I find a liter bottle and reckon that’s probably an adequate enough volume. But I drink the remainder of another one and have it open and at the ready just incase. I kinda had to sit on ma knees, crook my neck and hunch over to get my angles right but I managed to get everything lined up and ready. Whenever I pee in an unusual environment or situation I tend tae get that wee delay, where you can’t quite go. It’s usually just in public toilets that this happens but I suppose you’re also prone to the old phantom pish when you’re trying to pee into a bottle on public transportation.
Finally, I just couldn’t hold it anymore. It was like an eruption. Ah could feel it start from inside ma body. An overwhelming feeling of relief came over me. If the situation hadn’t been so tragic it might’ve felt euphoric. After a few seconds I realized that the feeling of relief wasn’t comin’ from emptyin’ ma bladder but it was comin’ in through ma hands. The roastin’ hot pish was warming my hands up so much that I didn’t feel cold anymore. It was wonderful. I forced every droplet of urine oot ma pipe until the bottle was almost full. And then, gently holding the bottle with one hand, I scuffled around in the dark again for the lid, a most important necessity when handling a bottle of piss on a bumpy bus, found it and screwed it back on incredibly tight. That bottle was never meant to be opened again.
Folks I had to stop after a few moments to asses my life and particularly this trough that my path had brought me into. I lay there in a bus bound for Bombay with two small burgundy bus curtains draped over me, clutching onto a container of my own piss to my chest like it was a hot water bottle.
That was a low point, even for me. I didn’t give a fuck though because my body was warm and my bladder was drained. And with that unusual feeling of contentment and suppressed shame, I slowly fell asleep, only to be woken up about five minutes later by the sound “tsssssssssssssst” and the whole bus grinding to a halt. I rubbed ma exhausted wee eyes and almost got blinded by the light coming through the curtainless windows. The bus had stopped at a service station. This meant that everyone could get off for a piss or get something out of their bags in the back, like a forgotten sleeping bag for example.
I was ragin’ man. Pure ragin’.