Day 103: What’s All The Bus About?

FINALLY! A day where we actually did something. Granted, it’s not really book worthy, but we did something nonetheless.

During the night an extremely loud noise woke us from our sleep. At first we thought it was the air conditioning unit about to blow up, due to the unacceptable amount of hours we made it work for. When we gained a little more consciousness it transpired the noise was actually coming from outside. It was rain, and a lot of it. It sounded more like someone was pouring buckets of it on the roof, the water was hitting it so hard you could almost believe it was trying to break through. Eventually, we managed to get back to sleep and remained so for the rest of the evening. After waking up (later than one would like) at 10:20am, Sarah and I enjoyed some television in bed, showered, then went downstairs for breakfast. We used the coupon which came free with the room, then when we finished we booked a bus to the southern bus station in Bangkok. It would arrive in an hours time, so I remained at the guesthouse while Sarah went to the local TESCO Lotus store. Yes, they actually have TESCO in Asia.

The minibus arrived on time, then aboard we climbed for a 2 hour sweaty journey to our destination. The reason for it being so hot, the bus had no designated seats for baggage like usual. Instead, the bags were shoved in the tiny aisle between the seats. Plus the a/c wasn’t working to it’s full potential. Halfway into the journey one of the passengers reached his stop. The driver then played musical chairs and moved a passenger to a different seat, that way he could put the bags beside me – GREAT! 2 hours later the bus stopped at the side of a busy motorway road.

Unsure of where we were, we had a brief discussion with the driver. As did two other passengers. He claimed we were all where we should be, even though the other 2 had separate destinations to us. So that made it clear he was lying. After he made a quick phone call and passed the phone to Sarah, we were 80% sure we were in the right place. The driver told us to cross the street using the walkway overhead, in broken English he said we’d be able to buy a bus ticket to Phuket in the big building opposite. Off we set.

Luckily he wasn’t lying, so goodness knows what happened to the other two travellers. We ordered our tickets, we chose the 2nd class option for half the price of the VIP one. The only difference, the 2nd class had no toilet but made plenty of bathroom breaks along the way. We then had a couple hours to burn before the bus set off. We spent that time in KFC, Dairy Queen, walking around the stalls, and finally, watching 2 different films on the tv monitors of a merchants DVD stall. When the time reached 5:50pm we made our way to platform 37. Our bus was there ready and waiting. I had the pleasure of loading our bags aboard, then Sarah and I sat in our spacious front row seats. For once, a lady with an eye for the obvious. When we booked the tickets the lady who served us clearly saw I was a freak of nature and sold us good seats. God bless her, I’ll forgive her for the fact she didn’t give me my change.

5 minutes after setting off, Sarah got told off like a naughty child for having her feet up on the barrier in front. For what reason we don’t know, it can’t be safety reasons as you only have to look out the windows of the bus to see the roads lack any health and safety rules. It may have been because of the Buddhist picture at the front, maybe it’s some form of shrine, but if that’s the case why were we allowed to put our bags there? I guess we’ll never know, all we know for sure is it’s a no no to put your feet up. Now, to recline my seat (revenge will be mine for all the times before… Oh wait, there’s no one sat behind me) and enjoy the next 12 hours ahead.

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