Friday, October 10, 2008

Ode to the Sleeper Bus Reprise

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was an ode to the sleeper bus, and after our trip last week in which we spent more than 50 hours over six days not sleeping on the sleeper bus, it felt only fitting to reprise the Ode. Every trip on the bus seems to add to the story.
They do show movies on the bus, and as you can see this time I got one of the four coveted TV beds. The upper bed took up most of the space above my head making it hard to sit up in my bed. The screen was only inches from my face, in fact I think the imagine of Keanuo Reeves, and Sandra Bullock racing through town will forever remain burned into my retina (Yes, for all of you who are concerned with what has been translated into the Uyghur language, you can rest assured that the movie Speed is availed).

On one of our over night trips last week, the driver seemed intent on speed through the desert all night. The consistent swaying of the bus, and jerking stops ( for who knows what reason), kept me awake most of the time. Other times when I have travelled when the bus trip was less than a full night, the driver would pull into the arrival station and let us all stay sleeping on the bus until 7 a.m. I figured this guy must be rushing so that he could get some sleep too. Only when we pulled into our destination the driver flipped on the lights and started yelling at all of us to grab our stuff and get off. It was still dark outside, and I looked at my watch, only to discover it wasn’t even 5 a.m. yet. Everything was closed, even the bus station itself. There wasn’t enough taxis available for all of the weary travellers that stood staring blurred eyed at each other in the parking lot. It was too late into the night to make it worth paying for a hotel, but to early in the day to do anything.

Oh sleeper bus, the good thing is every trip seems to provide its own interesting story.

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