Thursday, January 9, 2014

Barely made it

Whew...I have to watch my money on this trip, so I decided to take a city bus to the South Long-Distance Bus Station on the edge of town instead of an expensive taxi.  According to the receptionist at the hostel, it would take an hour and a half that way.  So, I got up early and set out two hours and twenty minutes before my bus was due to leave, just to make sure that I would have plenty of time.

Well, if you've ever traveled you know how things go.  The directions that the receptionist gave me turned out to be rather vague in places, and I had to stop and ask directions and walk a couple of blocks when I changed buses. And then, just as I was starting to get nervous about time anyhow, the bus driver slammed on his brakes. Fortunately, I had a pretty good grip on the bar (the bus was cram-packed, I'd already been standing for forty minutes), and although I was thrown nearly into a squat I held on as a couple of people bounced off of me. Three was that sickening scraping crunch that anyone who drives dreads hearing.  A car had stuck its nose over into the bus lane, and our driver couldn't stop in time.

Thankfully, no one suffered more than a scrape or bruise.  A couple of 185 buses came up behind so we got off our damaged bus and loaded onto the others and continued on our way.  I was really starting to get nervous about time now; we didn't seem to be anywhere near an area that would have a major bus station, and it was already taking longer than the receptionist had said.

I started asking around to the people around me to find out how much further. A boy assured me it was the next stop for about three stops, and a man sais he was going the same place and it wasn't much further.  A girl who looked about the age of my college freshmen, who remembered some English from school appointed herself as my guide. We got off the bus about twelve minutes before my bus was scheduled to depart, but she led me through the crowds down the block, into the bus station, and walked me all the way to security.  I made it through just in time.  The luggage compartment was already full, so I had to take my backpack up top and sit it in the aisle, and I was the last person on, but I made it. 

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