The wheels on the bus go round and round

124 Đoàn Văn Bơ

Currently on a sleeper bus, on our way to Cát Tiên National Park. We got second deck seats all the way at the end of the bus. The seat backs cannot be folded upright or we’d sit with our heads uncomfortably tilted at an angle against the bus ceiling. And Henri’s too big for the seat, of course.

This is our honeymoon, third day in. We wandered through Ho Chi Minh the first two days in a jetlagged trance. Everything feels like an assault on the senses. The incessant noise of honking cars, revving motorbikes and hawkers; the pungent, odd blend of fumes, street food and citrus-scented sanitary wipes; the dirty streets lined with food stands, colorful storefronts, motorbikes scattered about, and their owners, scanning the crowd for a potential customer in need of a ride. This place pulses with energy. And you never really stay put because inevitably, the jostling crowd will nudge you onwards. Where? Well, you’d figure that out eventually.

It’s an incredibly exciting city. There is so much to explore and to discover, and most importantly, to eat! We were timid at first, but by the second day, we were ordering left and right from food stalls. We gorged greedily, silently praying in the back of our minds that we wouldn’t get food poisoned. Everything is delectable of course. And there’s something weirdly satisfying about eating in the streets while seated at tiny tables next to non-stop traffic, sweating like pigs in the March heat. We loved it.

Now we’re moving east to Cát Tiên, a scorching jungle, and a complete different environment from Ho Chi Minh. We’re not in a hurry to get to the jungle. After all, we’re too excited about our first time on a sleeper bus. I reckon this’ll change in an hour or so when our bodies begin to cramp. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the bumpy ride accompanied by nasal chatters of the local passengers. 🙂

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