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February 24th , 2010

Bright and early on the morning of the 24th we headed back along the dirty, depressing streets of Anshun. We were on our way to the bus station. Although I couldn't bare to tell Becky, my Lonely Planet had said that our next destination was even more remote than this one. While in the sense of 'there's no people here' it's not remote. In the sense of 'no one comes here and there's nothing to do here,' it's BFE. We purchased our tickets for Xing Yi. After insisting that we be allowed to put our bags under the bus, we climbed aboard. Although we couldn't find seats next to each other, we opted to sit in two seats separated only by the narrow aisle.
 


The windows, of course, could not open. This promised to be another wonderful 6 hour bus ride. The downside of the persistent sunny, mild, weather was that it was constantly stifling in the core of a metal hot box on wheels. Lucky for us, we thought, the emergency exit was propped open above us. This proved to be only temporary as the people in the very back row complained to the driver shortly after departure: they couldn't hear their cellphones over the sound of the wind in the propped open exit. Thankfully they could continue their uncomfortably loud conversations while the rest of us boiled to death. Lucky for Becky though, the old man next her kept her entertained. Who wouldn't have tons of fun listening to the man next to you munch on sunflower seeds for 6 hours straight. That, coupled with the occasional seed dropping on her sleeve, made sure that Becky was happy as a clam.
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February 23rd, 2010

Waking up on a rickety bus with little to no suspension is an interesting experience. In order to achieve it one must first get over the atrocious smell of feet in the air and the awful effect that old suspension has on a bus ride. Assuming that one can fall asleep, waking up is an even more unpleseant experience. I'm sure all of us have had the misfortune of sleeping on an airplane; the sleep seldom makes you feel better and you wake up more groggy than you were when you started. We had plenty to look forward to though, it was only a simply bus ride from Guiyang to Anshun, or so we thought.


For starters, the bus station in Guiyang was insane. In the throes of the past-new year's rush, lines reached all the way out the door. Guiyang was, by far the worst place for cutting in line and, most likely, nefarious characters. The bus station had people patrolling for cutters (not sure if back-cuts are allowed). However, this job apparently had the highest salary of all bus station jobs. Most of the money came from bribes. People who REALLY needed to get back to wherever they were going just handing an extra 100 RMB to the lineman, told him where they wanted to go, and the lineman would immediately walk to the front and buy the ticket. After a long, stressful, wait we finally got our tickets to Anshun.

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