The Bus Ride

Chinese farm space
Hey Wally: get the combine, I see corn.

One of the “adventures” I’ve glossed over is the bus ride from Shenzhen to Kunshan.   It was… memorable–which sucks, because I’d like to forget it.  🙂

When we got ready to travel to Kunshan, the airports were shut down because of the typhoon that had just passed through the area of Shanghai.  There aren’t any high-speed trains that service Shenzhen to Kunshan.  So… we were left with a bus ride.  This was not something I was looking forward to.  However, I was told that it was a “sleeper bus”.  I’d be able to stretch out and lay down for the trip.  Hey… that doesn’t sound so bad.

Umm…. yeah.  That’s really not as pleasant as it sounds.  First of all, the bunks are built for Chinese people–not Americans who are almost 6-feet tall.  Secondly, the bunks have a “reclining” structure to them that can’t change, so every bump on the road causes you to slide down a bit–while your pants stay in the same place.  And, to top it off, the bus was so old that during the heavy rain storms we passed through, the AC vents acted like rain gutters, dumping water all over several of the bunks.

Take a look at the photos below.  We spent 23 hours on that bus.  Most of the time, it was so full that there were people sleeping in the aisles.

Jason and I spoke no Mandarin, and nobody on the bus spoke English. We knew the name of the city we were going to, but not how to pronounce it.  Technically, we didn’t even know the city name.  We were told “Kunshan”, but that’s just the name of the part of Suzhou where the school is–essentially the “neighborhood”.

The only thing we knew was that the bus driver had a piece of paper with the phone number of Sherry (whom we’d never met), and was supposed to give her a call when we got to our destination.

Yep… definitely an “adventure”.

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