Monday, January 25th, 2016
It was 4 am and we were on a mission to secure some comfy seats on the truck since we had a long drive ahead of us. As Trevor and I started rummaging around in our tent, we could hear the Aussie sisters follow suit. Our camp gear and luggage was packed up 40 minutes later and we tried waking up Bennie and Verena as requested, but they decided to sleep in.
The four of us sat quietly at the picnic table as we waited for more people to stir. It was a good thing Carmel had an emergency roll of toilet paper handy since it was an infinite poo sort of morning. We took turns handing it off to one another like we were in a damn relay. We chuckled at one another as quietly as possible, trying not to wake anyone. But when we witnessed what appeared to be a goat driving a truck down the street as it was screaming out the window, we all about lost it! Ah, India. Never a dull moment.
Once it was a reasonable time. We loaded our belongings on the truck and enjoyed Rafik’s breakfast, making sure to keep an eye on the others to be sure no one decided to move our stuff. After everyone settled in on the truck, we all waved goodbye to Rafik as we took off down the road. Eventually Jules introduced to us the second round of nominations with some new and different categories.
Before stopping for lunch, we passed by what looked like a Sai Baba 5K with people wearing matching Sai Baba t-shirts and medals around their necks walking through an Indian-version of Monument Valley. The scenery was incredible. We grabbed lunch at a random eatery located away from most of civilization. A lot of us chose Domino’s Pizza which tasted pretty decent. The fans blew all the napkins and seasoning packets all over the cafeteria as we ate.
Excitement started to build up as we approached Mumbai, India’s largest city and the 2nd largest by urban area in the world. The truck was forced to turn around at a toll booth that only had a “Cars Only” options at every booth. Then we came to the realization that we had no other choice but to pass through one of them. The moment we did, a cop waived us over and approached the truck.
The cop scolded, “No buses allowed.”
Nick proceeded to point at the numerous buses that made their way through right after us with no consequences.
“200 Rupees,” the cop ordered as he wiggled his fingers.
“I’m not giving you 200 Rupees,” then asked the cop for his superior.
The cop waved him through, and we were back on the road again and continued traveling through Mumbai.
Traffic started to get thicker and we passed a beautiful train station before arriving at the “Hotel Supreme.” After settling in, we went on a beer run with the Aussie sisters and drank in their room. Carmel told us that there were sparks shooting out of the shower’s boiler. Later, we joined the others in the hotel restaurant, “Seven Seas” to eat dinner and go over the winners of the truck nominations:
- Best Truck Pants: a four-way tie between Bennie, Verena, and two of the Golden Girls
- Happiest Person: Jules (of course!)
- Funniest Comments:
- “Booties” – Jules trying to say buddies
- “Nadkins” – napkins for your ball sweat, an invention Jim wanted to patent
- Whenever Mauguerite said, “I’m not doing any more shopping”
- “Nick’s balls and Jule’s bush” – a reference from one of the fire pit games
- Above and Beyond (Most Helpful): Bennie and Trevor tied
- Best Truck Employee: Bennie
- Dirtiest (Minded) Person: Jim who was very proud of this win, I might add!
- Random Acts of Kindness: Graham, which was well deserved in my book
- Most Grown: One of the Golden Girls who actually became a bit more independent during the trip
- Sharpest Dresser: Another one of the Golden Girls who always had her colors on
- Biggest Faux Pas:
- Carmel’s truck fart
- Nick not wearing his “under crackers”
- Margaurite getting attacked by a monkey during a photo session
- Verena’s nickname for Bennie (“Shnookie”)
- Verena’s moment lost in German-to-English translation with “butt sex”
The following day would be Republic’s Day and the liquor stores would all be closed, so we went on a beer run, then hopped in a rickshaw with some of the others to head to the “Leopard Cafe” for some drinks. There was only one more day left on the tour, and we wanted to celebrate with all the people we had grown so close to over such a short period of time.
Haddaway’s “What is Love?” started blasting on the speakers and I referenced “Night of the Roxbury” meets India’s head wobble as we crammed into a table. Bennie and Verena handed out a journal that they wanted everyone to write in before they left our hotel for a much more elegant one in the morning. Sian drew a very funny picture of Jim on acid. Everyone returned to the hotel for the night except Nick, Jules, Amelia and Carmel. The night was about to get weird!
We played a game of “Ducky Fuzz, Fuzzy Duck” and a very intense game of Quarters, except we used Rupees instead, of course. Jules bought two rounds of Jäger shots and we played some games with the locals before having a few more beers, and then squeezing the six of us in the back of a rickshaw to return to the hotel.
The after party rolled on in our hotel room until 2 am. It was all fun and games until the next morning.
Jump Back to Part 31: Carrots, SeeSaws & Monoliths
Jump Ahead to Part 33: Republic Day Hangovers and Final Farewells
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety