Almost Running Over the School Boys

Mysore to Bangalore, Karnataka, India – We got on our express bus to Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka, but as usual, the “express” part was optional.

Today’s choice of interruption was a strike by the school bus drivers whose routes happen to be on the same road we were traveling on. The school kids who had no transport home were blocking the highway and making the empty trucks and buses take them to the outlying villages. Our bus driver just slowly drove through the crowd of children. There were literally hundreds of them stopping all the traffic and we headed on our way. It was not until we were going through a one-lane road through a village that our driver finally had to acquest to the children’s calls for a ride home. There was a row of schoolgirls all holding hands blocking the only route through town. The driver stopped and all the girls filed into the isle of the bus. The driver took off like hell on wheels. For now, we had to take these kids to a village out in the middle of nowhere.

Our bus was barreling along the highway when I spotted two rows of schoolboys all holding hands spread across the road and our driver did not seem to have any intention of stopping or slowing down for that matter. It was a game of chicken. Our bus going 65 miles an hour and two rows of 10 to 12 year old schoolboys all dressed in their white button-down shirts. The boys did not seem to face that the bus was not slowing down. In fact, our driver gave it a little gas to make our bus look more menacing as it picked up speed. The kids still did not move, so when we were about 15 feet away, the driver pushed in the clutch and rave the engine so loud effectively scaring the kids out of the way. Kate screamed when she saw how close we were to hitting the kids while I just grabbed on to the seat in front of me expecting to feel a soft bump under the front wheels of the bus.

We finally arrived in Bangalore, found a room near the flower market, and then went out to a really nice Chinese dinner at a restaurant that played the first western music we had heard in a long time. After dinner, we were walking past the move theaters when we spotted that new American horror film, Poltergeist making its first run appearance in India. Poltergeist, was not that released like 10 years ago in 1983? Does not matter – we went in.

Comments are closed.