A Sundance Memory Made
After my final film of the day, I hopped on a Park City bus that was supposed to take me back to my car. It’s pretty difficult finding parking in such a small town when 40,000 festival-goers have taken over. I get on the bus and wait for the crowd to thin and I finally take a seat. I sat next to the window. There was a seat right in in front of me that is perpendicular to me. And a seat right to my left. They were both empty. Two drunken, middle-aged men get on the bus and one is soooooo happy that he sees his drunken girl friend that he hasn’t seen in a while. He sits in the chair in front of me, next to her, and his slightly more docile friend pins me between him and the window. The smell of alcohol is overwhelming.
I’ve been on enough buses with drunk people that I know just to stare out the window, not to make eye contact. So the chipper one is chatting with his friend, and despite being close to 1am, they try and convince the drunk guy to my left (it was his birthday you see) to agree to go out for more drinks. Drunk guy to the left keeps nodding in and out of consciousness while the other two talk about boring things. After 10 minutes, drunk guy to the left leans over into the aisle. I thought he had passed out or something. But really it was just so he could projectile vomit onto the floor. The other drunks thought it was hilarious. It was not. Then he threw up again, and again, and again, for a total of four times (four times on the bus, it continued after he exited). Because Drunky McDrunk was doubled over emptying the contents of his stomach (it was clear he didn’t drink on an empty stomach, bravo) he wouldn’t move so I could get the hell out of there.
In a moment of panic, I leaped over the seats into a safe zone. You see, once when I was living in Russia, I was stuck on a Soviet-era bus. The kind that has hole in the floor so you can see the pavement go by. It was extremely crowded, and extremely hot. A drunk threw up. The heat of the non-air-conditioned bus exacerbated the stench and caused, I’m not kidding, at least 5 other people to vomit as well. At least in the Park City bus, there was no one in the aisle. My fellow bus-riders in Russia weren’t so lucky. This experience haunts me every time I use public transport. Despite dry-heaving a few times, I escaped tonight’s ordeal relatively unscathed. Sundance is getting classy.
The bus driver made everyone get off the bus and wait for a replacement. The replacement soon came, but had no idea what route she was supposed to be driving. This, unfortunately, led to me being dropped off far from my destination. Fortunately, I met Mabootu from Kenya who was also headed in that direction. We spent 20 minutes discussing the movies we’d seen that day, and I finally made it to my car.