Sunday, August 29, 2010

A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again

Add to the list of supposedly fun things I’ll never do again: A 22-hour road trip with 45 friends on a bus. Add in Soviet-era roads; waiting four hours at the border between Russia and Ukraine; two group sing-a-longs; and rest stops with squat toilets that you have to pay to use, and you have an idea of the luxury travel I enjoyed this weekend.

Trip highlights included:

*Rest stops. And not just for the rest. It was amusing to watch the mothers and grandmothers in the group venture into the bushes to avoid paying a 50-cent fee to use the bathrooms. That was the first rest stop. Later, after dark, we pulled over for another rest stop, and as I got out of the bus I realized that there was no rest stop at all. We were pulled over onto the shoulder of the road and people were scattered among the trees doing their business like it was the most normal thing in the world.

*Eating kolbasa sandwiches and sharing a teacup of juice with the Hausbiulins, each drinking out of a different side.

*Showing Roma the PhotoBooth application

Funny thing is, when they all got back on the bus tonight to head back to Russia and I stood waving and blowing kisses on the sidewalk, I actually felt a pang of sadness that I wasn’t going back with them.

But I guess that didn't really have anything to do with the bus.

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