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:
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:
- 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.
- being heavy on the brakes and braking more than necessary is bad
- swerving and taking sharp turns, except when absolutely necessary, is bad
- 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!