Tuesday, July 22, 2008

i was tempted to reference harry potter in this title, and then, i decided not to.

at the start of the summer, young, wide-eyed, impressionable maeve loved travelling on the red-eye wonder that is the sleeper bus. the cozy cocoon-esque doubledecker beds seemed mystical and glorious. even as the yunnan mountainous terrain sent the bus winding around corners, i believed in these vehicles, i lived for them. well, this past week i have opened a new chapter in my life entitled 'die sleeper bus, die!'

our journey across the southern silk road, where we picked up a travelling breakdancing spaniard along the way, began with a sleeper bus. it had been the first one in awhile and after a night on the hard seaters, we were giddy for it. turns out lonely planet hasn't kept up with the chinese times--surprise, surprise--and what was supposed to be a 16-hour ride was actually cut down to 6-hours. so, we never actually slept in that guy. bummer.

flash forward a week. after an incredible experience in kashgar and karakul lake where we rode on motorcycles with locals, had a funny birthday celebration with some brits and aussies--if you see me ask me about the thailand prison and shanghai kindergarten stories--we boarded the 25-hour bus from kashgar to urumqi--trivia for ya'll: urumqi is the furthest city from the sea...in the world. neat! once again, after a few terrible normal bus experiences, we were looking forward to laying down...fuck that. not a fun way to spend a whole day.

a day later, without any other mode of transportation, we had to ride another overnighter. this time, we got to choose our beds, and since the back of the bus had beds that were completely flat, we jumped all over them. so, i know that the back of the bus is the cool place to be. you know, the hot spot for truth-or-dare, roll-calls, or if you were a member of the 2000 8th grade parker boys soccer team...wait, no, shouldn't bring that up. anyways, that rule does not apply here. the word 'bumpy' doesn't even give those 17 hours justice.

finally, last night, as i stepped onto my final sleeper bus, i had a good feeling about it. the beds were the best that we had seen. completely flat and longer, too... i could almost completely stretch out. it would be a good night. well, of course, about two hours in, the damn machine broke down. we waited for another two hours for a second bus to come, but when it came, it turned into a free-for-all of who could get a seat. luckily we scored the first two top bunks--learning from our last mistake. dear sleeper buses, you've served your purpose and for that i thank you. now, peace brah.

so yeah, tomorrow i head to the beijinger where some friends will try to convince me that it isn't the filthy, disgusting place that it really is. don't worry, they won't succeed. on friday, i will be departing chiner. to be honest, i am fucking terrified to return to the states... how do i socialize with people, again? but, then i think about a hot dougs hot dog, and i almost pee myself.


Conor said...

Things are really different here now. Everyone is sincere all the time and there's been a national movement to abolish awkwardness. If we feel it coming on, we're all just supposed to hug and tell each other how special we all are and that everything is going to be perfectly fine. Also, hot dogs have been banned and we can only listen to polka music. It's desperate times.

gokwi,(<-- that's what I had to type in for word verification)


Jack said...

Conor is right. Everyone in the U.S. sings Kumbya, plays earth ball, and does giant hugs across vast stretches of the fields of amber waves of grain.

Cousin Bob Burke said...

Not sure about the singing and hugging but you will notice a lot more scooters - you may want to bring yours home

sister catherine said...

and hot doug is excited to see you too!

easy uk said...

It is nice to have chance being there. www.chineselives.info

anil said...

Cuz, your shit is tight! Send me a golden idol of you and i will place it on the altar between Durga and Kali :p

Hari said...

Hi nice blog !
Can we exchange links ?

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