Edit Blog Post
Published: November 16th 2007
PP to Siem Reap
There are at least 28 people in this pickup truck. Take a look. Amazing!
Some pictures of transportation the past few weeks. Some of the buses were pretty nice, with considerate passengers. Some of them were just horrible - smoking, trash (peels, bones), spitting, overcrowding, people wanting to bring on weird stuff (ie their bike engine)... yikes. A small taste of real China.
There aren't taxis in most smaller cities/villages, so people rely on passing buses to take them into town. At first I thought that there were just a lot of hitch-hikers and the driver was getting extra money for picking them up, but I think that there are just no designated stops and you can just wave the bus down. So interesting. I always had to clearly ask if I had to catch a bus at a real stop, not at the side of some road!
On my way to Songpan, we stopped along the road and only a birthday cake got on. Twenty minutes later, the bus driver slows down and starts honking - and a woman comes out into the street and the driver hands her the cake! You can buy a bus ticket for a cake! The cake giver saved herself the return bus ticket. I thought this
The dust, exhaust, feeling that you're about to tip over... but kind of fun.
was pretty funny.
In Cambodia, we saw entire families on scooters - up to five people on one! Kids on driver's lap or even standing on back. We saw a few trucks squished with people on the flatbed and on the roof! So scary! I wonder if these people actually feel safe, or if they just don't care. Once I was sitting in the first seat on a express bus (to Dali) and I buckled the functioning (suprising!) seatbelt. The people around me all stared! 😊
One girl traveler told me on her way to Sichuan the bus driver seemed to be tired/drunk. She said that they were on a mountain and was scared, so she requested to get off the bus (in the middle of nowhere). Then all the Chinese chuckled when she said the driving was scary. I guess some other guy on the bus then offered to drive - and he hopped into the driver seat and they continued. Sheesh. So scary! I would have just kept my eyes shut and hoped for the best. Unthinkable! 😊
I rode Thai Airways back to Shanghai, one of the only carriers that has a non-red-eye direct
And the smokers are generous - they offer cigarettes to every (man) around. And when it's cold, they don't open the windows!
flight. Thai Air is pretty nice - they have good service. My flight back was delayed 3+ hours and since I paid a premium to take a morning flight, I was pretty annoyed. We finally board and take off. The flight back to Shanghai is 4 hours long. I wanted to recline my seat a little and I thought the seat was not functioning since it wouldn't go back. Then I feel the person behind me pushing at my seat. I turn and the lady is has her knees propped up against her tray table, preventing me from reclining. She was sitting at the edge of her seat so her legs could be pushed up against my seat. I catch a moment when her feet are down and I recline 😊, but she literally (with her knees) pushes my seat back up to an upright position. I was already grumpy from waiting at the airport 5 hours and I really, really wanted to get home. Being the juvenile person I am, I push the seat back down. She taps me and tells me that she'd like me to sit up so she has more room. Umm? I paid nearly $500
USD for this one way ticket, you better believe I will recline! Seeming how there was only an hour left in the flight, I sit up straight so that I could appear to be the bigger person. Clearly, I'm not since I am rambling about this petty situation. Anyway, I sit up and turn around and in my horrible Chinese I tell her that I will sit upright this time, but next time if she needs more space, she should buy a business class ticket. I told her I bought a seat that reclines and she should let me if I want to. Everyone else can recline with no problem! Then her little friend chimes in and tells me to "let her" (in Chinese "rang ta") since she is older and fatter! Oh my gosh, I wanted to lose it with both of them. 1) she wasn't that fat 2) it's not my problem she's overweight - go on a diet and 3) she was no older than 45. Unless she has some kind of disability or injury, I do not see any reason to "let her". I know it doesn't sound like it, but I really have improved my
obsession with personal space. I should have let something like this go... but again, I wanted my purchased entitled space. Another thing, is "being older" a reason I should "let her". This is a very Chinese concept. I respect older people, I really do - but I consider someone in their 40's not an older generation and someone young enough to be sitting up properly. It's an American concept - whether you're 21 or 51, each person has their own space. Age does not matter! It took 13 hours (door to door) to get back to Shanghai. Thinking back, I was being little miss crankster.
Oh well, at the end of the day, I got from A to B. In retrospect, the bus, train, and plane rides are all very amusing and fun. It's great to see real people and how they get around.
Tot: 0.086s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 13; qc: 76; dbt: 0.0155s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb