After waiting around with nothing else left to do besides spend my last Lao kip currency, I splurged on a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station for once sparing myself of added pain and torture. On the last ride out of Thakhek, I saw one stand of peeled bananas laid out on a grate to roast as I have seen many times before which surprisingly turns into a tasty evening treat. However, in this instance the coals didn’t seem to be burning and the grate/grill was left unattended with said bananas laying there vulnerable. One confident dog striding with every purpose in his body and wagging tail turned that stand into a fire hydrant and pissed away every last drop he had to spare. I gagged on the spot forever feeling unclean of the various street foods I have partaken in on top of the many other unsanitary evidence to leave me quaking. Once there at the bus station, I bought my ticket like the rest of those border leaping Asians and waited my time for the shuttle to arrive. Some much shit got stuffed onto that bus I didn’t know what to do or say. For one, I saw one determined young couple try to shove a chirping cage of chicks into the underbelly of the bus, which they eventually succeeded in doing. My bag along with a few others was deposited into the rear aisle way which made for an uncomfortable situation for the many passengers they decided to shove into the bus including myself. I am not a claustrophobic person but I soon was about to become one. The air got hot and stuffy quicker than I would have preferred. Any air that should have been available to be breathed in was further occupied by another filler of a passenger. I got my one respite as being a treated member of society by getting ushered through my own line at Thai immigration and customs, a line only reserved for monks, elderly, and the privileged so I will take a bone when thrown my way but the entirety of the journey could not end soon enough especially when hearing the rehearsed symbolic speel of some conference bound business man. All I wanted to do was hell out “Get me off this mother loving God forsaken bus” but God forbid I create a miscommunicated scene. My elbows were already oiled up and ready to go from all the sweat dripping down my forward, chest, and back, so I was prepared for anything and ready to get dirty to achieve. Thank the heavens we arrived to the Nakhon Phanom bus station in Thailand before I found a way to use chopsticks as a deadly weapon. Here I bought my ticket out to Bangkok, waited around a short while longer, and then began my sleepless journey to the city I first began this whole SE Asia journey for officially the fifth time all to the tune of some beautifully nauseating Thai beat music.
Now in Laos Day 211: Cramped Bus Over the Border