This is the first of a series where I ask fellow bloggers about the craziest thing they’ve experienced while riding public transport. We all have funny/horror stories that we share with friends around a bar table. I am now collecting all those stories and bringing them to you in my hilarious series titled ‘Crazy Transport Tales.’ If you like their writing click on the social media icons to follow them!
Our first story comes from Jazza at NOMADasaurus
A Chicken Bus and a Clown
Alongside tortillas and rum, the colourful ‘Chicken Bus’ is up there as one of Central America’s most iconic symbols. During our eight months in the region, we saw a lot of crazy things on these dilapidated, graffiti-covered ex-American school buses that bounce around every road headed to anywhere. From being part of the world record for how many people you can fit inside a chicken bus (FYI, it is 221…plus two chickens), to being in one that broke down no less than four times in a single 10km journey, no trip was ever mundane.
Our fondest memory was riding a chicken bus from San Salvador to Suchitoto in El Salvador. While we were packed to over-capacity, one stretch of road saw a whole collection of strange characters jump on board. There was a lady selling tablets that would make your wrinkles disappear, a shop vendor who sold any kind of item you would possibly need (we bought some toothpaste, a crochet hook and some band aids from him), and an opera singer, just to name a few. Our favourite however was the clown, complete with a rainbow wig, make-up, giant shoes and parachute pants, who entertained us for 20 minutes with jokes and balloon animals before jumping off, never asking for money. Our bewilderment throughout the whole trip helped us forget that the wheels on our bus were likely to fall off at any moment.
This next story is from the lovely Alice over at Teacake Travels
Vomit and a Train in Korea
When I burst through the doors of Shanghai airport 18 months ago, I was ready to embrace a whole new world. Still recovering from tearing myself away from Korea (I had to leave or I never would of) I was ready for the next chapter in my solo travels. I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in dumplings, baiju (China’s answer to moonshine) and copious amounts of fire-churning hotpot dishes.
It turns out, that for my worldly taste buds, Shanghainese food is horrendously oily, sugary and a flat out bitter disappointment. It also turns out that the Shanghainese are still learning to party like it’s 1999. Or, that Korea parties like it’s the end of the world every day. They drink gallons. Like most Asian countries however, I haven’t managed to witness one partied out drinker keep that alcohol down. Step into any Chinese nightclub and they’re mostly not peeing in the bathroom, they’re ‘you know what’. In Korea, when foreigners are heading out, locals are somersaulting home like a deranged homing pigeon, not exactly sure which way is up or down anymore.
This lack of knowing when to stop partying has its price and I got the full disastrous consequences one night in legendary Busan, Korea on my way home from playing a gig with my band. It was the last metro train. Waiting on the platform, people stood swaying, a little worse for wear. The train came in, the doors *binged* and I stepped inside to be swiftly shuttled back home. Armed with tunes, I popped my headphones in, zoned out and replayed the awesome jam I’d just been a part of.
‘Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeergh!’ I saw it fly through the air, like an open 2 litre sized can of paint; the colour your grandma would have picked for her rug in the 1970s. Red, orange, wet, slimy…lumpy. The horror on my face. The shock. The disgust. The smell. The unexpected liquid shower. I was a kimchi-covered blondie and everybody couldn’t pull out their wet tissues quick enough to try and salvage whatever presentable appearance I had left. As strong Korean women dragged the vomiting granddad off into the next carriage, the electrifying guitar solo hit its rapturous crescendo in my ears. I peeled myself off my seat, 50 shades of orange.
The last contribution for todays series comes from Jay of JayonLife
A Speeding Bus and a Goat on the Road
5 years ago I was touring the US and had to leave before the ‘free’ 30 days period ran out on my student visa. Having to go further than Canada or Mexico, I chose Jamaica as it was the cheapest option. I wanted to get an authentic experience of Montego Bay, so I took a commercial bus to my solo crocodile watching tour by boat. The road where the buses were parked was bustling with the sales pitches of drivers to would be passengers.
2 different buses argued for my custom, I chose one at random not seeing any difference between them. Due to my polio, I wear a leg brace and the driver had me sit at the front as I’d have more room. Hopping onto the bus, I searched for the seat belt. There wasn’t one. I am the first in a car to be belted up, safety first. Ignoring this, I thought of the awesome reptiles, that was until we started moving. I was at the front with the bus driver, his foot went down hard on the accelerator, WHOOSH! We were flying at a ridiculously high speed and the opened window was making my hair fly about everywhere.
At this point, I’d completely forgotten about the lack of seat belt and enjoyed the wild ride. Until we had started driving along a very high cliff. And the driver was showing no signs of slowing down, probably faster. I am legit terrified, as I was on the side of the edge of the cliff, and we’re impossibly close. I could see my impending doom, covered in lush green vegetation.
A wild goat appeared, rushing across the road being chased by a determined kid. A kid chasing another kid, unfortunately this pun escaped me as I was thinking about all the times I didn’t tell my parents I loved them. The bus driver was still not slowing down, goats beware. Luckily for me, I managed to survive this adventure on four wheels. I made it to the crocodile boat tour which was considerably less dangerous than that bus ride!
If you have an awesome/scary/crazy transport story that you want published, please contact me to be featured in the series!