Friday, December 3, 2010

Ode to Oz Bus 20

To all the Oz Busers ..... publishing the poem as promised.
To anyone else who reads this, apologies for all the 'in-jokes' ..... its simply a wrap up to our Bus trip.

Final blog will be written from Sydney next week.

Ode to Oz Bus 20
The journey it started on the fifth of September,

It’s now thirteen long weeks, let’s reflect and remember.

When we reached the Embankment, each with rucksack or case,

Three months of possessions taking up every space.

Our life long belongings wrapped in plastic containers,

Each with two pairs of flip flops, and one pair of trainers.

The men had their pen knives, their torches and crampons,

The women, meanwhile, had their case filled with tampons.

‘Bring as much as you can’, it was Lana’s suggestion,

For they won’t be on sale, in the countries, in question.

And being keen to comply and obey all Oz Bus laws,

We’d all brought supplies ‘til we reached menopause.

On that very first day, there were visa inspections,

Also talk about jabs, and who got, what injections.

And what network for roaming you’d set for your phone,

And who had invested, in costly, Malerone.

We talked at the start, about each person’s plan,

We lamented the visa we’d bought for Pakistan.

As the journey progressed, with Danis at the wheel,

Through Europe we drove, it was all quite surreal.

Many hours on the bus, we learned all about patience,

The bus stopped by itself when we reached Service Stations.

Surviving on crisps, diet coke and white bread,

Meant teeth became loose and hair fell from our head.

And despite protestations and despite mounting pickets,

We succumbed to bow legs, and we contracted rickets.

When we’d reach a new city, we would all get quite tetchy,

As poor Danis’s directions, to hostels, were sketchy.

With Sat Nav on the blink – Oz Bus life, wasn’t dull.

We spent two days, on the bus, circling round Istanbul.

Streets being too narrow, made the atmosphere terse,

And half of that time, the bus drove in reverse.

But the good times were many, we moved into Iran,

And discovered that life there, was good for a man.

We all risked being stoned if revealing one’s body,

No alcohol served, just four types of Mi-Wadi.

And each night without gargle required sedation.

Wearing scarves round our heads causing asphyxiation.

But we survived the country, without getting killed,

People’s journeys have differed, diverse needs being fulfilled.

We’ve acquired new skills and through practice each week,

We’ve mastered the art of the squatting technique.

Many countries ago, there were shrieks all around,

When confronted in Turkey with the hole in the ground.

Despite best intentions, and regular strops,

Less pee hit the target than what hit our flip flops.

Water consumption – it became the solution,

The females adopted camel-like constitutions.

But when desperate to go and when forced to the loos,

Colostomy bags, were discussed in the queues.

And with time, we discovered that the squat had an art,

And this knowledge my friends, I now will impart.

Before you go in, there’s some steps you must follow,

You must practice your breathing, so the flies, you don’t swallow.

You must roll up the trousers, and stretch out all your muscles,

And loosen your buttons, so there’ll be, no mad tussles.

You retrieve your loo paper, say a prayer for your plight,

And to Allah you beg, that you don’t, get stage fright.

For whilst queuing for toilets, there’s no difference in classes,

As the women on Oz Bus all become braying asses.

And you know you’re in trouble, when you exceed your times,

Through dawdling, committing the most serious, of crimes.

As you exit, you see the queue checking clock watches,

Their faces like thunder – each one holding their crotches.

As you shame-facedly pass, you’re guaranteed a hard thump,

Best advice being to run - …. the Oz Bus, Forrest Gump.

Throughout the adventure, we’ve enjoyed different scenes,

We’ve acquired new friends, we know each ones routines.

We recognize clothes, we know each persons towels,

We know intimate workings of each passenger’s bowels.

There’s been laughter and gossip and we’ve shared many hugs,

We have learned the importance of a set of ear plugs.

And the fun we have had as we frolicked on beaches,

Has been matched by the horror of detaching black leeches.

Despite the precautions and a can filled with Deet,

Leeches just loved all the Oz Busers feet.

And whilst wandering the jungle, the Guides deep in a trance,

The Oz Busers behind, doing their own Riverdance.

With the shrieking and howling, the wild beasts didn’t wait,

They had adequate time to be in the next State.

With our trip almost ended, we have gained so much knowledge,

Surpassing all that which we could learn at College.

We now know that crutches result from a fall,

When starjumps are performed from a two foot high wall.

Penicillin we’ve learned just does not make the grade,

And it turns people’s legs a deep purple-type shade.

This trivia I stress, isn’t just to fill cracks,

It’s important to stress that they’re all Oz Bus Facts!

And now in Australia, we’ve been blessed with MacGyver,

We’ve discovered a gem in having Rick as our driver.

Even driving through rain, intense sun and sand blizzards,

He can spot from the bus, obscure species of lizards.

As they sit in his hand, and he highlights their features,

The girls, taking photos of Rick, and not of the creatures.

So to finish this ode, without doubt there’ll be sorrow,

When we won’t be hearing Lana tell the plans for tomorrrrooooow!

No more days on the bus twisted into the seats,

Drooling and snoring and toothache from the sweets.

Our bodies contorted, thirty bored and pained faces,

Our heads like a rag doll and our neck requiring braces.

Tonight as we sit here, we’ve memories plenty,

United by being, a part of, Oz Bus Twenty.

And on journeys in future, we can say ‘what’s the fuss?’,

Cos’ we’ve travelled from London to Sydney ….. on a bus!

Debbie Ruddy

1st December 2010


  1. Hi Debbie
    Love it!!! So funny I can't believe your journey is nearly over. Enjoy the final week. Looking forward
    to meeting up when you come home.

  2. Poem is, as usual, excellent! I'm so sad it's over! Looking forward to all the stories (you better have) to tell over Christmas as we're stuffing turkeys or up to our elbows in potato peelings! Dying to see you. Love you Sis...

  3. Fantastic poem, Debbie! From an Ozbus 3-er

  4. Another Ozbus 3 veteran- legendary! makes me miss the bus a lot!