The Second-Worst Bus Ride of My Life

By Christina

Today we day-tripped to the nearby Playa Hermosa, which literally means beautiful beach. The day was absolutely beautiful, but the trip back was awful.

The coach buses here have assigned seating, so when my friend Penelope and I approached seats 33 and 34 and there was already an old lady sitting there, we were understandably confused. In broken Spanish, we asked to see her ticket, which indicated that she was supposed to be sitting one row up. But she settled a little more comfortably into her seat (and a third of my seat) and gladly offered Penelope her spot. Greaaat.

So, sharing a seat with a very large Costa Rican lady, I waited for everyone else to load the bus. The coach buses here also allow standing-room passengers. The guy standing beside me decided sit lean against my seat. With a man’s ass resting on my left shoulder and the large lady encroaching on my personal space on the right, this trip was off to a pleasant start.

Resigned to a two-hour bus ride in this position, I pulled out the second installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones, the book). The bus left at 5:30 p.m. and the sun sets at like 6 p.m. here, so I was trying to enjoy reading while I could. The lady beside me was mumbling in Spanish about being hot and pulled out a fan. Every time she fanned herself, the pleasant breeze hit me too, but the waving fan was in the direct path of my sunlight, so the words on the page looked like they were shaking: not ideal reading conditions.

In addition to the headache from trying to read, my shoulder was starting to chafe from rubbing against that guy’s jeans. I said goodbye to Tyrion, Jon, Arya and the others focused on getting this butt off me. Every time the bus turned to the left I would kind of thrust my shoulder into this man’s butt, but he did not get the hint.

Then I was distracted by a repulsive sound. The woman beside me had fallen asleep and was not so much snoring as gargling. Each inhalation sounded like water glugging down a clogged drain. Naturally every time the bus turned to the right I gently thrust my elbow into her to wake her up. Alas, this too was unsuccessful.

Then, the standing people shifted and a normal-looking, American guy ended up beside me. I was pretty psyched because no more butt guy! However, as he leaned his arms against the luggage rack, the American guy’s loose, stained T-shirt was hanging an inch from my face and with his legs pressed up against my arm rest, his crotch region was not much further away.

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep, which was difficult when I was periodically woken up by American guy’s headphone cord whacking me in the face or the guy behind me pushing his knees into my back.

About an hour into the bus ride, it started to rain, so everyone closed their windows. The smell was incredible. Pack 60 people on a bus for a few hours after a long day at the beach and it does not smell great, let me tell you. At least the lady had pulled out her fan again.

After what seemed like a very sweaty eternity, the American guy swung his headphones into my face one last time as he reached to ding the bell for his stop. As a parting gift to me, he pulled his backpack down from the overhead bin and showered me in sand.

I looked across the aisle at Lauren who gave me a sympathetic grimace: she hadn’t had anyone leaning on her the entire trip. A few minutes later, we were back in San Jose and finally off that stupid, stupid bus. And so ended the second-worst bus ride of my life.

If you’re curious, the worst bus ride of my life was from Mississauga to Hamilton, sitting next to a woman, who, no exaggeration, weighed 450 lbs. She smelled worse than everyone on the Costa Rican bus put together and her ARMPIT FAT rubbed against me the entire ride.



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