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Smoky Disco Sleeper Bus from Kunming to Jinghong

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Tuesday, 17th January 2006

We arrived around 7:30am in Kunming and filled the day in by sitting in Coffee Shops chatting and walking around the city. The day was chilly and for some reason we chose the out door coffee shop in the Mall to sit in for most of the day. We had tickets for the 1:30pm bus to Jinghong. We arrived, boarded our purple sleeper bus with yellow palm trees on the side and there we sat until 4:30pm. Exactly the same as last time, except 5 years ago I waited over 5 hours. On board were three Americans, all teaching in Beijing. The two guys were both named Josh and the girls name was Hannah. All three were seemed pretty cool. I was worried when little Josh said they spent some of their time teaching the bible as they were Lutheran, but they never mentioned Religion again. No, I lie, they did once. Before our first dinner together they stopped to prey and little Josh continued for a long amount of time. When he finally finished I said to him, gee mate, that was a long one. Yes he said, I'm a little wordy even with the big fella! The bus trip down...well, not much has changed except the last time it took me well over 30 hours, and this time it took around 14 hours. It was half the time but pretty much the same CRAZY racing car driving around the hills with trucks and buses coming our way. Both of us on the wrong side of the road. I don't know why, in China they just seem more comfortable driving on the other side. I think they believe there are less pot holes over there. The difference in time is due to some new roads and better buses. The entire time we were being thrown around and slammed into the side windows etc due to the state of the roads. We were driving beneath parts of a new freeway that is being built. As we now wound our way around the mountains, the new freeway will go STRAIGHT and it will be smooth! We stopped at a typical tiny town. There was no electricity and we had to eat by candle light. The toilet, well you actually forgot you had to go the nearer you got to it. By the time you actually reached it you had no idea why you were there and walked back all confused until your head cleared. There are two types of sleeper buses in China, one with small beds and the other with even smaller beds. We got the one with even smaller beds! One way to describe your night's accommodation is, it is like sleeping in a coffin. Your arms are snug against the window and the railing and the only thing better about a coffin is the fact that you fit in to it length ways. Plus driving on Chinese roads over night you never know when you'll need that coffin! I have to have my knees bent no matter which way I lay. Poor big Josh towered over me and spent the night in the fetal position.

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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