Buses are the most hideous way to travel. Riding along in a seat that hosts who knows what kind of of organisms with untold temperatures and underlying fluids trapped within the walls of the seat fibres. All this whilst being tucked into spaces that you would generally not try to squeeze a blind mouse into for the claustrophobia that would be encited. All this whilst having barely an hour beforehand being on stage in swan feathers and with make-up running down your sweaty back having also been induced into a state of full body muscular contraction. And the only recompense of dietary relief comes in the form of local junk food from a very understocked convenience store, or better yet, the 95% processed menu of the Japanese/Italian restaurant chain (that hails from California of course) across from the theatre. As you are herded into this small space with take away pizza boxes being brought in front of your already failing nasal passages, the assortment of assaults becomes a meditation in self control and finding the "it could be worse scenario" in your imagination. Ah touring travel.
As we bump our way along the highway all assortment of laptops, iPods and walkmans emerge as those of us who have not taken sedatives try to find the most amicable way to pass the time. Rather large editions of impossible stories in paperback form sit un-thumbed on the pull down trays or seat pockets in front of desperately fading expressions.
Those lucky enough to be possessed of frames small enough have managed to make a camping style bed of wooly scarves and padded jackets in the aisle of the bus. Surely they are the most fortunate as they stretch their petit bodies to full length and with relative space of a hamster in a shoe box. Oh to have the body of a 12yo again! Just to be able to find solace in the environment of a bus aisle!
The beer cans pile next to me from the lads who just seem to believe that yeast ridden beverages can accommodate the smallest of spaces and turn any journey into a bar stool and a casual night down at the local.
And now the sun has set and the seeming distraction of outside scenery gently wafting past in multi coloured hues is now just a jumble of street lights and generic housing lanterns, nothing as cute as a Privet Drive or Ramsay St! My bum begins to ache in this makeshift lounge-chair that I am trying to create. Legs are beginning to appear in different positions on headrests and window-frames. Dancers really are a funny lot in terms of how they find positions that do tend to defy comfort. But from personal experience these cacophony of limbs in various array are quite often the easiest way to feel happiness in these circumstances.
AND lo and behold a Japanese man that I have not really seen before pops up from somewhere in the front of the bus. How and where has he come from? Who is exactly driving the bus? What is his purpose and what does he do popping up in the front of the bus? Perhaps a more pertinent question is does he have more space in front of him? At least more than those of us packed into the back of the bus with it's vibrating toilet shack that none of us really want to use in any situation. It is all exciting on a Japanese tour!