I spent the next few hours dodging the stray dogs that wandered around the terminal looking for food and water. I basically walked laps in the terminal with brief stops to drop my backpack to give my shoulders a break. Needless to say, I was sweating from the heat, the crowded terminal and the weight on my back (and I packed light!!).
I met a woman in the terminal, and asked her about the delay. She turned herself into my personal guide checking the boards and the gates for my bus. At one point she left to check on my bus and I wasn’t sure if she was coming back. I got nervous since I saw hordes of people lining up among more hordes of people. I was pretty certain that was my bus but I figured I would wait for her and if the line got too short, I’d leave.
To my surprise, my newest friend came running through the terminal. She grabbed my arm and brought me to the gate (the right one!). It was so amazing to see people looking out for me, in this crowded terminal, where everyone had somewhere else to be. It made me think about this situation had it been in New York. I’m not sure the same experience would have been had by a foreigner. Especially on a crowded Friday night, where everyone had somewhere else they wanted to be.
In terms of price, my ‘free’ night of accommodation would be on the bus. And I couldn’t have been more excited to get on a bus that I knew would be insanely air-conditioned. I had already dug up my sweatshirt and pants so that I’d be warm (after the heat exhaustion from the bus terminal left my body!).
My bus ticket (which at $70USD) was not inexpensive, but if you averaged it out for a 9 hour ride, it turned into $8USD per hour — plus a ‘free’ night of sleep.