My Embarrassing Day in Seville

My Embarrassing Day in Seville

Every once in a while we need to have a good laugh.  Take ourselves a little less seriously.

You know those moments where you’d crawl under the nearest rock if you could?  Well, in the spirit of a good laugh, I’m going to share one of my embarrassing experiences with you.  I hope it brings a smile to your face.

My husband Chris and I traveled to Portugal a number of years ago, and decided to spend a few days in Seville, Spain.  While overseas, we opted to take trains, bus coaches and boats rather than rent a car.  Great way to see the countryside without having to focus on driving in unfamiliar territory.

To get from the Algarve (Portugal) to Seville, we first took a boat and then rushed madly to the nearby bus station, as we were running late for our bus’ scheduled departure time.  We made it just in the nick of time.  We were the last ones on the bus.

It happened to be a double bus, attached by an “accordion” like this one:

Accordion Bus - Metro Cincinnati

As we were the last to get on, we had to sit in the very last row of the back bus.  I started to sweat a little at the very thought of it (I had a decade-long case of motion sickness when I was a kid, and if you’ve ever experienced it, you’ll understand why this made me nervous), but pushed that aside in my relief that we made it to the bus in the first place.

The driver pulled out of the station, and we were on our way, excited about our new destination.  Then… the driver proceeded to drive like a maniac – as much as possible with a double-length bus.  He sped like crazy, weaving in and out of lanes, then braking hard every chance he got.  Speeding.  Swerving.  Braking.  Speeding.  Swerving.  Braking.

It was muggy in the bus.  And our driver’s apparent enjoyment of swerving and braking gave me the opportunity to quickly discover that my seat was broken. So, every time he applied the brakes I flung forward toward the seat in front of us.

Recipe for disaster.

Let me pause here for a moment.  If you’ve never suffered from motion sickness, it’s important to know a few things for the benefit of those who do:

  1. for someone who’s feeling carsick, it’s important to be able to focus on something in the distance.  Curves, swerves and hills – and being in the back of a bus with minimal visibility – make this difficult.
  2. being heavy on the brakes and braking more than necessary is bad
  3. swerving and taking sharp turns, except when absolutely necessary, is bad
  4. Even if #2 and #3 are necessary, vomiting will likely ensue

Back to my story.

There I was, trying my best to brace myself against the seat in front of me and breathe deeply.  Chris was next to me, oblivious of my plight, talking animatedly to the fascinating couple from Brazil sitting next to him.  I would have loved to talk with them as well, but instead decided to focus on keeping my stomach’s contents inside me.

The speeding-swerving-braking continued for what seemed like an eternity.  Finally, the kind Brazilian woman next to my husband pointed out that I didn’t appear to be feeling well.  He tried to help and she tried to find an anti-nauseant for me, but it was too late.  I was past the point of no return.

Finally, one of them found me a plastic bag (thank goodness for small mercies) just in time.  I clutched onto that bag for dear life and did what needed to be done – several times – as I kept flinging forward in my seat.

Then we arrived in Seville.  And the bus stopped.

I almost cried in relief… though the relief was temporary.

I stood up, only to find out the plastic bag had a huge hole in it.  There was vomit all over my shirt.  And it was hot outside.  So hot.


I was a disgusting, smelly, pale mess.  I decided the main course of action, after shakily getting off that detested bus, would be to change my shirt and rinse out my mouth.  So I went into the public washroom of the bus station.

Then I found out that you need to put coins into the stall door in order for it to open.  AAAAAUGH!!!  I hadn’t changed any money over to the local currency yet!!!

Thankfully, a kind stranger who I will forever be grateful for, saw – and no doubt smelled – me and held the door of her stall open for me as she was leaving.  I went in, changed my shirt, and cleaned up as best I could.

Having regained a tiny shred of dignity and a bit of colour to my face, Chris and I left the bus station on foot, in the heat, pulling our luggage behind us, looking for a hotel room for the night.

(Hmmm… isn’t it strange that none of the hotels seemed to have a vacancy)?

Okay, what’s one of your embarrassing experiences?  Please share!

About Christine

Positive thinker. Writer. Lover of travel and adventure, oceans and mountains, and the energy of a big city. Oh, and deep belly laughs, sappy movies and spirited conversations. Believer in limitless human potential.
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14 Responses to My Embarrassing Day in Seville

  1. Oh my gosh, what a horrible journey! Did you enjoy Sevilla after that?

    • Christine says:

      It was, but yes – we did! Sevilla is so beautiful. Amazing culture, architecture, everything! One of the things I noticed was a number of artists and students set up alongside the river, sketching and painting. And I can understand why – such a place of inspiration. Would love to go back someday, spend more time there and really experience it. (Oh, and we went on a wild goose-chase one night looking to see Flamenco dancers, but to no avail. Someday.)

      Thanks so much for commenting! Glad I know about your blog – I look forward to exploring further! Bet you’re having an incredible experience there.

  2. Oh, Christine! I feel your pain. You know one of my embarrassing experiences also involved motion sickness – on the sea. Really not cool for an island gal, and definitely no fun either. Motion sickness of any kind is such a miserable feeling. From your vivid descriptions, I felt right there with you, trying to manage it quietly yourself until the nice lady pointed out your discomfort to your oblivious husband, your dismay at the leaking bag, everything! Thank you for sharing your story for the entertainment of the rest of us! And your overall point is right – good not to take ourselves too seriously and find laughter (eventually) in even the worst of situations. Love your positive take on this.

  3. Christine says:

    Oh no, Dawn! I read your post – what an awful experience! I love that you put your “big girl pants” on and tried to push through it, but sometimes we just have to let our bodies take the reins. And in the end, sometimes there is no other choice!

    Yep, once it’s over, we have to look back and laugh, right? Thanks for your comment, and for reminding me that we all go through these embarrassing (and humbling) experiences now and again.

  4. Elle says:

    I didn’t mean to, but I had to laugh Christine…I’ve been caught in far too many experiences with motion sickness so that now, I have those little pills on me if there’s any likelihood of being on a bus, plane, train, boat…basically any moving object.

    So glad you enjoyed Seville…I’ve been to Barcelona, but only driven through Seville, never visited…yet. 🙂

    Love Elle

    • Christine says:

      That’s okay, I laugh about it now too! 🙂 But it sure was nasty in the moment. Sounds like you’ve “been there” quite a bit yourself!

      Me too – I try to bring those pills with me when I travel… particularly by boat… I’m picturing the churning right now… ugh! Those little pills (I use Gravol here in Canada) are worth their weight in gold, aren’t they?

      Thanks so much for commenting! Oh, and I hope to see Barcelona some day – I hear it’s beautiful!


  5. How timely…I just endured 4 weaving, bobbing flights of nausea. Is there anything worse than fearing you will ralph in front of strangers? Luckily I did not this time.

    I wasn’t so lucky as a teen, coming out of the “Silly Silo” ride (3 minutes of spinning) and barely made it out in the line of people when I lost it there on the pavement.

    But my most embarrassing moment was fainting in Abnormal Psychology as we watched the video of Electroshock Therapy; they all thought I’d had a seizure and called an ambulance. Apparently I was also moaning and weaving back and forth at my desk before I passed out….ugh…

    • Christine says:

      Oh, that sounds horrible! And yes – it’s nasty enough feeling nauseous without feeling like you’re going to toss your cookies in front of a bunch of strangers! Glad you made out okay.

      Wow – the Silly Silo ride sounds like one I would’ve stayed MILES away from. I have a hard time on even basic motion simulator rides – they put me in a cold sweat and it’s everything I can do to keep from throwing up! Would’ve been embarrassing as a teen. 🙁

      Your Abnormal Psych experience sounded awful!! Can you laugh about it in retrospect?…

  6. ebostick1212 says:

    Oh no! That sounds like terrible luck! I hope you had a change of clothes :P. Also, I was thinking about this when I read the article…in Spain, ‘to be green’ doesn’t mean ‘to be sick’….it actually means ‘to be aroused’. So I wasn’t sure what it might have meant at the beginning of the article. Turns out, it probably wasn’t the Spanish situation 😛

    • Christine says:

      Oh, how I laughed when I read your comment!!! NO, I definitely wasn’t aroused! Farthest thing from it. I did have a change of clothes – and managed to change my shirt at the bus station – but I don’t think I really felt (or smelled) much better until we got a room and I took a shower! 😉 Thanks for commenting!

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