Embed from Getty ImagesWhen I moved to Budapest, almost two years ago now, night buses were some kind of miracle for me. The fact that I could go home whenever I wanted to, from wherever I wanted to without having to spend the night at a friend’s – like I used to have to do in my home town – seemed like a real blessing to me. Night buses almost never disappointed me, and they never missed picking me up and driving me to my warm, cozy bed in the middle of the night. Although over the last two years I have had many adventures with such night buses, just like the following incident…
It happened right after I arrived to my beloved Budapest back in September, 2012. I was still new to the city, only knowing which night bus I should get. My new friends and I were celebrating the fact that we were in university, which still seemed pretty unbelievable to all of us at the time (mainly because we simply couldn’t believe that we were that old). We had a couple of drinks, and we talked and danced all night, and then at around 4 a.m., we finally decided to go home. I walked to the bus station, and soon the magic bus arrived. I was really sleepy and my brand new shoes were hurting my feet really badly, so when I got on the bus I immediately sat down in the first place I saw, right next to the window. That was the first mistake I made that night, but not the last.
After only five minutes on the bus I was asleep so deeply that even Disney’s Sleeping Beauty would have been jealous of me. The dirty seat was my perfect bed and the cold glass of the window my perfect pillow, right up until the bus stopped and an unknown hand started to shake my shoulder to wake me up. I was half asleep when the owner of this hand – the bus driver obviously – told me that we had arrived at the bus’ terminus and that I should get off immediately. I looked up at him with sleepy and desperate eyes, but he was not moved at all by this. So I had no choice but leave the bus and try to figure out what to do.
I was standing there totally clueless about everything, the bus driver disappeared, and I didn’t even know in which direction I should attempt to start off. I figured out from one of the bus schedules that my bus-stop was not that far away, and so I made my second bad decision that night; I decided to walk home. Alone. In the dark. In my new shoes.
I chose a totally random direction (until this very day I don’t know what exactly I was thinking) and started to walk hoping that I would recognize a building or something. That was the moment when it started raining, like the night was written for me in Murphy’s law. After a while a dog started to follow me as I was walking, both blaming and feeling sorry for myself at the same time. I was deep in the suburbs of Budapest’s. The streets were totally empty, but just before I was planning to give up the whole thing and lay down on the street to die peacefully, I saw someone. Yeah, of course, he was totally drunk and couldn’t even walk, but I had to try. So I walked over and asked him for the right direction. The universe had probably had enough of making fun of my misery, so from the drunken mumbles I heard some street names which seemed familiar.
After thirty more minutes of walking in the right direction (thanks to the drunk man) I saw my building which seemed like the most beautiful thing in the whole world. It was a shame that by the time I took a shower and ate something I had only one hour before I had to go back to school. That day, while I was literally dying on the way in to my university, I swore never to sit down on a night bus again, just to be safe.
Needless to say, I have kept falling asleep on buses ever since.