Bus Journeys from Hell
Have you ever travelled in Asia or Indonesia? Because if you have you will understand what I mean by the title of this piece. Long delays waiting for the bus to fill up. Smoking, hawking , spitting and vomiting locals. Pot holed roads that numbs the bum. Numerous stops for food, prayers, toilet or breakdowns. Delivery of parcels, food and letters to the local villages. The bus screeching to a halt every 15 minutes to press more people into the overcrowded space so that the man next to you ends up on your lap. Let’s not forget the animals, chickens, pigs, ducks and once a goat tethered to the roof. The poor thing was constantly scrabbling to get hoof purchase. When we rounded a corner it fell off and was caught in midair by the guy hanging out of the bus’s doorway – it was a neat trick. The man should be on the Indonesian cricket team.
Well I had such a journey yesterday. It started off well, the first bus only took 3.5 hours not the normal 5 hours to reach Saigon. I was amazed. Clean, fast and efficient with only one stop. Saigon was also not as hard as expected. I caught the local bus from the bus station I arrived at and an hour later was across the city purchasing a ticket for the next stage to Na Trang. Then it all went horribly wrong.
Read the first part of this blog again add no air conditioning, getting lost delivering a parcel, 3 hours late, arrival in the dark, a major headache and heat exhaustion and you will get the picture. All 8.5 hours of it. But as per usual it was worth all the hassles. I did a good deal on a room in a resort, pool and pristine beach out front – 15 dollars for two people. Unfortunately, I fell asleep too early to appreciate it.