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Yippee, It's The Disco Sleeper Bus

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Tuesday, 14th February 2006

Woke feeling much better and after eating a happy breakfast of Mei Mei's Special Breakfast we headed to the bus station to unwillingly purchase our tickets to Kunming. Gee, can't wait to get on that bus! We spent the day walking the back streets and finding little market places we hadn't discovered on our past walks. We had our final dinner at The Mekong Café and said our sad farewells to the happiest, friendliest and most beautiful staff I have ever come across. I thought a small dinner of eggs on toast would be best for the long road ahead. Boy was I hungry several hours later.

We boarded the 'Smelly Disco Sleeper Bus' at 9:30pm. The moon was full and made a beautiful reflection on the Mekong River as we left town via the 'old' bridge. I was very sad to leave Jinghong. The Xishuangbanna is my most favourite place on earth. It's so full of colour, charm, relaxation and beautiful food. Days easily pass by if allowed leaving you wondering how when yesterday was Monday how could today be Sunday! The first hour was fine. Plastic bags could be heard rustling in readiness for the hours to come. We spent nearly an hour at the customs checkpoint and finally two officers came on board and checked everyone's ID Cards before allowing us to continue.

The entire time we were stopped and everyone was trying to sleep, one guy sat on his mobile phone laughing, spitting out the window and hooting as loud as he could. No one said a word, I tried yelling 'get off the phone' several times but offcourse he didn't understand English and never looked my way so I could stab him with my death glare. Finally he shut up and allowed me to experience the quietest moments on board a Chinese Sleeper Bus I have ever experienced. It can happen, it can happen. There was no hocking, spitting, phones, mp3's, talking, yelling or heaving! Even the smoke sat lifeless!

Finally the bus started its engine and ALL the latter began. Bags were filled and thrown out the window, phones rang, dust and smoke filled the air and the gear box continually took a beating as the driver crunched his way towards Kunming. About 4 hours from Kunming the driver finally stopped to have the gears checked. By now the bus had to be switched off to get it into first and the noise made to get it into fourth was almost deafening. I'd rather hear nails being scrapped down a blackboard. The toilets at this stop would have to be added to my list of favourites in China. Two holes in a concrete floor. Pretty smart for a well used truck and bus stop. I winked and smiled at the 90 something year old man who squatted next to me as we went about our business.

Oh China, it fills your heart & nostrils with it's warmth at every given moment!

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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