Have you ever dreamed of travelling to distant lands and exploring different cultures? I haven’t done a lot myself – Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Thailand – but I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had.
I know it’s not nice to laugh at someone else’s misfortune but people do it to me all the time so I’m feeling entitled.
I’ve just finished reading a Facebook post a friend of mine has put up as she and her husband work their way from Bangkok to Koh Samui on a 17 hour bus trip during which Kylie’s focus turned quickly to just one thing – the need to pee. Travel brochures have it all wrong – they focus on views and decor. What we really need pictures of, though we don’t know it until we get there, are the toilet facilities.
We join our heroes as they wait to be picked up and taken to the bus depot where she sets the scene with a jolly, Worst night of travelling EVER, before taking us on a little journey. Here are some excerpts:
At 5.15 we were scuttled into a small taxi with 2 Italian woman who clearly have a grudge against soap and deodorant. With our knees up around our ears in the back seat, the woman next to me insisted on lifting her arms at every opportunity giving off waves of pungent BO – all while our luggage precariously balanced half in and half out of the boot as it didn’t fit. Thirty minutes into the “short ride” I was relieved to see large coaches parked and ready to take us to Koh Samui. Relief was short lived as we were herded into a dingy alley full of scrawny kittens and reeking of cat urine. Our guide smiled and pointed toward the end of the alley where the toilets were. I spent the next half an hour regretting my decision to hydrate in preparation for the trip.
While Grant loaded our big bags into the bus I went straight for the lower level which looked kind of funky with LED lights and a fold down table. The a/c was on. I was happy. It wouldn’t be long before we realised that LED lights can’t be turned off and aren’t helpful for sleep, the fold down table got in the way the entire night and the a/c vents blasted air that quite possibly was siphoned straight off of the toilet tank. And yes, my long awaited toilet break saw me dry heaving over the stench of muddy looking water and a bowl. There was no paper. God bless baby wipes!
The bus did stop regularly while our driver pulled over for a cigarette every half an hour. He didn’t open the doors though. We sat trapped and waiting for our promised meal break.
Finally at midnight our eyes started closing and twenty minutes later the bus lurched and the driver opened our door shouting that we had 30 minutes. Anybody who wasn’t back on the bus would be left behind. The break was 20 minutes and there was no head count so he gave it his best shot. I was so excited at the prospect of a real toilet that I raced off the bus and past the trays of suspicious looking curries. Again I was disappointed to find that the toilet was merely a hole that you squat over. From the smell and the build up on the tiles I can honestly say that women have worse aim than the laziest men.
Too late I realised I’d left my previous baby wipes on the bus.
I want a shower and some sleep, a glass of wine, a coffee, a clean toilet, and a plane. So help me I will never do this again. I’m sure we’ll laugh about it all….one day.
Your ‘one day’ is now, Kylie 🙂
Of course, from my recollection of the toilets in Thailand they have a really high water level, so much so I had to remember to keep my dangleberries from dunking. That took some getting used to.
Can’t wait to read your next post, Kylie. Remember, the journey is the reward – although in your case you seem to have won the booby prize.
I’m pleased you’ve maintained your wicked sense of humour and I hope you find something with a civilized duel flush soon. Thanks for the giggles.
Would you have kept your sense of humour intact if you were on the bus with Kylie? What loo disaster stories do you have from your travels?
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’
I remember being on the tube in London following a bit of spicy food in Brick Lane. Food didn’t agree with me so I was very much looking forward to seeing a loo. That’s when the train stopped dead in a tunnel and I was left alone with my thoughts. And a searing need to decorate a toilet. An eternity later we pulled into the station and I ran to the only public toilet I knew. Turned out the gent before me had the opposite problem to me because he’d clogged it. Fastest run home I’ve ever had.