Saturday, 5 March 2016
"Any minute now, I'll be on my way to a sunny, beachy paradise."; I thought to myself.
I continued sitting in my seat for another half an hour thinking there's no reason for panic. After all, this is Brazil. They do things in their own time and never mind the timetable.
In the next few minutes, however, everyone got ordered off the coach.
"Off, off!!"; yelled the officials.
I knew then that maybe I should panic after all.
Everyone got off the coach mumbling and grumbling.
In the general chaos I spotted a blonde head of hair. She also spotted me.
"Do you speak ze English?"; she asked. She was German.
"Yes, bruv.", I answered nonchalantly.
"Do you know what's going on?", she continued.
"No, but I will find out."
I scanned for the nearest official and strode over determinedly.
"What's going on?"
"The battery of the coach is not working. We're waiting for a different coach.", the official said.
"And how long is that gonna take?"
"Only God knows", she shrugged.
Frankly, the most baffling thing to me was that the coach had a battery.
It was also clear that this was going to be a long wait. I better make friends with the German.
Finally it was time to board again.
"In you go, in you go!!", yelled the officials.
"But wait...this is the same coach.", I looked at the official quizzically.
"Yes, yes!!!", she tried to wave me off.
"What happened to the new coach?"
"It's not coming."
"So do you have the new battery for this coach?"
"No, we tried to fix the old battery."
"So, you fixed it?"
"Sort of. Good luck. Hahahahaha If you make it. Hahahahahaha"
And with that the official saw us off.
The German had a look of sheer panic on her face: "What does she mean if we make it? This would NEVER happen in Germany. "
I wanted to tell her that this would never happen in the UK either, but then I though better of it and shut my gob.
As soon as we boarded the coach the second time, the sky opened and torrential, tropical rain rushed out of the clouds.
I got comfortable in my seat and readied myself for a good snooze session.
The Brazilian men behind me had other ideas, however and started chattering to one another at extremely high volume and at the speed of Duracell bunnies.
"This can't be f***ing happening!!! I can kiss my sleep goodbye.", I thought. "Still, I can look at the scenery if nothing else."
We were driving through lush rainforest and sleepy villages. All the while the rain was relentless.
Suddenly, the coach came to a halt.
"The BATTERY!!!", I jumped up in my seat thinking the haphazardly fixed battery finally gave way.
Alas, we were stuck in the traffic jam. IN THE JUNGLE!!!!
"Is this even a thing? A jungle traffic jam? I've truly seen it all now.", I resigned myself to the fact that I will get to Paraty around midnight the way things were going.
If I get there at all, that is.
It was raining so hard that it looked like entire town was doing an ice bucket challenge. Streets were rivers and taxis were nowhere to be seen.
The German muttered to herself yet again that this would never happen in Germany.
Eventually, a taxi arrived.
"I will take the German to her hotel, but I won't take you!", the taxi driver pointed in my direction.
"What? Why?". Perhaps he didn't like the look of me? Or maybe I stunk?
"Your hotel is just 5 minutes walk away."
"But it's chucking it down. And I have luggage.", I motioned towards my already soaked bag.
"I'll pay you double!"
"Don't you want my money???", I was desperate.
And with that, he took the German and speeded away.
"Fuck! What now?", there was no way I could have walked as the rain was the worst I have ever seen in my existence. Plus, there were no streets, just rivers.
"Perhaps a boat will come along.", I tried to comfort myself.
It was dark, it was late and I was sitting in a small Brazilian town's bus station waiting for some sort of rescue while the rain of Biblical proportion was hammering everything in its way.
After about half an hour, another taxi came.
"Senhor, senhor!!!! Please! I know my hotel is just around the corner, but please take me. I'll pay triple!!!!", I started waving frantically.
"Triple??? But it's just around the corner.", he looked at me incredulously.
"Just take the money and drive!"
I pushed some crumpled up notes towards him, opened the door and, before he could protest, sat in his taxi and refused to budge.
Shortly afterwards, I was standing at the door of my hotel...
Bikini: Vix (top)