The Highway to Hell is a Bus Ride to Laos

The ethereal scenery pictured above is located in the lovely country of Laos.

In order to reach this paradise, I had to take a 14-hour bus ride from Thailand that was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. This is the story of that journey.

Prior to the bus ride, I’m hungry and need a snack. Decide in infinite wisdom to purchase the craziest looking snack I can find to try and experience the culture. This will become important later in the bus ride.

Hop on the bus and take in the scene. There are 2 stories of seats with an aisle down the middle. Each side has 2 seats that recline into a shitty bed. It’s basically impossible not to be touching the person in the seat next to you.

Find my seat and see that I am next to a very attractive girl with the French flag on her shirt. God is good. As I approach the seat formulating a French pickup line, a guy taps me on the shoulder and asks if I wouldn’t mind switching seats with him so that he could sit next to his girlfriend. God has forsaken me. Say yes and take his seat a few away.

The bus ride begins. The road is absolutely terrifying and is loaded with hairpin turns. Not even a joke here, we see several overturned cars that slid off the road.

Notice a dwarf (little person?) giving me the stink eye from a few seats over. Why does he seem so upset? Listen buddy, it’s not my fault that I’m vertically gifted. Think about it a bit more and look down at my wrist. I had forgotten that in my haze of a first night in Bangkok, I purchased a bracelet that reads, “I fuck midgets”. Nice one. Immediately remove wristband and settle in for the rest of the ride.

The seats have this tray at the bottom that you can put food and things on. There is a gap underneath the tray so that your feet can go under. However, if you’re 6’ 3’’, your feet don’t fit in this gap. Instead my knees are bent up and my shins are constantly banging into the tray.

As I enter a zen-like meditative state to ignore the shooting shin pains, a drop of water lands on my head, shattering my concentration. Where the hell did that come from? Wipe it off and attempt to relax once more. About 10 minutes go by and bam! I’m hit again. Look up and see some water gathering on the ceiling above me.

I go tell the bus guy about the leak. There are no other open seats and he does nothing to stop the drip. Look over at guy cuddling with French girl in dry bliss and feel dwarf shooting bullets at me with his eyes. God dammit.

The water droplets come roughly every 10-15 minutes, which is just enough time for me to relax only to be woken with a jolt. Buckle up for the next 10 hours of water boarding.

5 hours go by. I have forgotten who I am. I begin confessing to terrorist plots I know nothing about. And then it hits me. The weird Asian snack I ate at the beginning of the trip. My stomach becomes an absolute warzone. I leave my seat and run down to use the bathroom. Close the door behind me and look around. What did I do to deserve this? Not only is there no toilet paper, but there’s no bum gun either. It’s the middle of the night and we have about 4 hours left until our arrival. We’re also in some random stretch of wilderness so there aren’t really any places that we can stop. And even if we did, I would still be lacking in the toilet paper department.

Return to my seat a defeated husk of a man.

The remaining minutes tick by with an agonizing slowness. Waves of pain roll through my stomach with increasing severity. This must be what contractions feel like. Remember from TV shows the “Hee, hee, hoo” breathing that women are supposed to do during labor. Decide to try this out in a desperate attempt to lessen the pain. Person next to me wakes up and glares. Silence them with a look in between my breathing exercises. You know nothing of hell.

By some divine miracle the ride finally ends. Sprint out and run to the bathroom only to be greeted by a woman telling me I need 2000 kip to use it. No time to count. Make it rain kip in her face and fly to the restroom. I won’t go into details, but that toilet may now be America’s greatest war crime against Southeast Asians.

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About the author

Hi my name is Nick Holke

I'm 24 years old and I'm from California. Currently, I'm teaching English in Madrid.

If you wanna know a bit more about me and the website, click here.

One Comment

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  • OMGGGGG Nick your posts have me in absolute stitches over here!! The reason for receiving the stink eye from the dwarf literally made me ugly laugh! :””D

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