There was a time I wasn’t so organized. There was a time when I wasn’t so set in my routine ways. Oh, there was a time when I wasn’t so middle aged! It was fun to be young and adventurous. And every adventure has its pit falls. Here is my story of the skewered adventure, goaded on by youth. We were in college and planned an excursion to the great outdoors. We never booked our trip. True to our adventurous nature, everything had to be done on the fly. Anything preplanned was normal; and as the glamorous advertisement of the day said, normal was boring.
We were five intrepid souls, with backpacks and sneakers, ready to take on the world. Last minute travel was our birthright, and we set out to claim it. There was just one glitch. We had no idea exactly where we were going. We were banking on late holiday deals at a destination till then unknown to us.
Someone suggested the seaside, merely 5 hours by bus from the city, and we all agreed. We packed our backpack light, with shorts, sand slippers, towels, inflatable beach balls and such beach essentials. We met in the morning at the long distance bus station and realized the next bus to the sea side town is four hours away. Just then one of us pointed out to a sleek looking high speed Volvo bus which was revving to start its journey to an undisclosed destination. “Look, that’s a neat looking vehicle. Let’s board that and go wherever it takes us! That’s real adventure! Who wants to wait around for four hours?”
There were a few protests, vetoed down by the proposer’s booming voice more than his logic. The conductor came down to us after two hours. When we asked where were we headed, he looked at us quizzically and quipped, “Don’t you know where you want to go?’ We said we were on an adventure, and will go to the last stoppage of the bus. He sheepishly said, “That’ll be so much and you’ll reach there by tomorrow morning.” Both the price of the tickets and the duration of travel had us flummoxed. We asked about the last destination of the bus. He smiled and said, “Oh it is this famous hill station. Your holiday will be worthwhile, don’t worry!”
Set back considerably budget wise by the bus fare, we realized we are headed for a famous hill station with neither adequate money nor the wherewithal. Our adventure was turning sour, and the brunt of our cumulative acidity was directed at the friend of ours who had initially broached the idea of boarding this particular bus. Next morning, at the bus stand of a famous hill station, there were happy tourists disembarking, to the welcome smiles of the agents of hotels they have booked well in advance. All were in mittens and woolens. The bus stand also threw up a strange picture; the picture of five young men, half frozen in their cotton tea shirts and shorts, shivering their way up meandering hilly roads in search of last minute hotel deals.
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This post was submitted by Bernard.