Aaah overnight buses how I love you so. I'm never at my best when I've just woken up. It takes a few hours, a shower and tea before I'm up to speed (currently 3 days tealess) so arriving at 6am in a random Vietnamese town was hard.
It was a sleeper bus which means it had beds. Awesomeness. If everyone were the height of a Vietnamese Pygmy and you didn't like turning at night. And will that person over there please stop moving the curtain as the lights from outside are annoying. 9 hours of this....
"Sapa! This is Sapa!" shouts the bus driver.
It might be better to give a few minutes notice don't you think? I didnt even have my bloody shoes on. 3 panicky minutes later I'm off the bus and they're already unloading all the bags into one mahoosive pile. I can't see my bag and all of a sudden I hear them closing the bus up. I runs around the other side of the bus:
"My bag! Not there" I say. Pigeon English FTW!
"Yes, yes. there" driver says.
"OK. I'll believe you. I'm tired. Wibble"
I goes back to the pile and the bus pulls off. There are 3 bags remaining and, surprise, mine isn't one of them. Oh no! I should warn you: there's a cultural zeitgeist always wanted to do that type moment coming up. I jumps on a motorbike taxi amd point, shouting: FOLLOW THAT BUS!
The bus has gone around the corner in the distance and so we follow.
Zoooooooom! My terror of motorbikes has disappeared and been replaced by fear of no clean underwear and GASP having to go shopping. My bag is my life. It contains everything. Without my bag I am worthless; without me my bag is worthless (if only that were true, eh, Mr pikey bus driver)
We go around the corner and the bus has disappeared. Street after street there's no sign of it.
"Go to the main road!" I say. I've no idea where this bus has gone or where it was going after dropping us backpackers off.
We drive for another 10 minutes and still no sign. I've resigned myself to having lost my bag. Oh well. Bigger things in life, eh? Not many, true...I direct the driver back to the hostel in dejection, hoping that the hotel has a phone number for the driver. They're all related over there. It's why the bus stops there after all. Or threr're bribes being paid. Either way: they know him.
Motorbike pulls up and there in the middle of the floor is my bag sitting pretty and proud. Where had it been? What would have happened if I'd caught up to the bus only to discover my bag wasn't on it? How big a cock am I exactly?
Questions that may never be answered....