I cross the river and see Ananda and his friends waiting on the other side chatting in a small circle, I break the news to them and they are well and truly confused. “What about your bus ticket!?” they say.
“Yes, yes I’ve decided not to take the bus.” I say.
Ananda replies with a seriousness in his eyes “But you cannot not take the bus! What about the money you spent?”
“I don’t really mind, it was only a few rupees” I say thinking it’ll be fine.
“Don’t you know, you get a 70% return of money if you prove you have a good reason?” he says.
“No, I didn’t…does it matter?” I say.
“But yes of course! Here we will help prepare a document.” The boys all huddle round and we spend the next 20 minutes collectively creating an excuse letter and this is exactly how it went;
To: Assistant Manager,
Traffic Controller QSRTC Bus Stand Hospet
I booked today to Mysor Bus at 7:30pm. In the evening when booked the ticket at that time I never got food poison after that time I get back to the guesthouse. Little bit I get sick, now it’s a lot. Please cancel my ticket, thank you.
Peter Sharp, 24 years
Everyone is laughing by the end of writing the letter, I thank them for their work and Ananda get’s on his bike to take the letter for a 30 minute bike ride to receive the $4 refund…The sun is starting to set and I’ve told Peter i’d be back at his sanctuary before 8. I get on one of the last boats back to the other side of the river and notice a gorgeous Indian female about the same age with long full dark hair graciously sitting opposite me…