Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 30: End of Chapter One.

Previously: Part 29: Open!

*****

Still Day 7: Sunday, 1 September 2013

Off I went to the bus station. The bus station is very simple, it does not reflect the fact that this is the main bus terminal for the capital city. Still, I found it amazing, to breath a different air, to have a different view and to see how people live on this side of the world.

Talat Sao bus terminal, Vientiane.

Aku terus bergerak menuju ke stesen bas. Stesen bas Vientiane sangat basic, tak canggih macam TBS-BTS kita yang macam lapangan terbang tu. Memang kalau orang tengok, orang fikir dua tiga kali, betul ke ni stesen bas untuk ibu negara. Tapi, aku tetap rasa seronok. Rasa teruja. Menghirup udara berdebu Vientiane, pemandangan yang berbeza, cara hidup yang berbeza.

“Time is money”. Something I learnt from Yuya and Hibiki, the Japanese guys whom I met upon arrival.

I walked towards the window which stated Vientiane-Nong Khai since I intended to take the bus across the border before continuing my journey back to Bangkok via train. There was a bus schedule pasted on the counter’s wall and since I did not want to be late, I bought a ticket for the 3.30 pm bus. After I received the ticket, I was asked by a guy “Ticket to Nong Khai?”. I answered him, “Yes..” before continued “Japanese?”. He nodded.

Di stesen bas, aku pergi ke tingkap yang tertulis Vientiane-Nong Khai sebab rancangan aku ialah nak naik bas seberang sempadan sebelum sambung naik keretapi ke Bangkok. Ada jadual bas bertampal dekat dinding kaunter tu. Aku tak nak lambat, jadi aku pilih tiket bas pukul 3.30 petang. Lepas dah dapat tiket, seorang mamat tegur aku “Tiket ke Nong Khai?”. “Ya” aku jawap, sebelum aku tanya lagi “Dari Jepun?”. Dia angguk.

Apparently, he was travelling alone too and was planning to go to Bangkok. His name was Ken. After he bought his ticket, we seated on the bench and exchanged our travel stories surrounded by the exhaust fumes from the buses. I saw children playing at the bus station, smiling, laughing, always happy.

Just hope that no one took your assigned seat.

Dia pun berjalan seorang diri jugak nak ke Bangkok. Nama dia Ken. Lepas dah beli tiket, kami duduk atas bangku sambil berkongsi pengalaman kami dengan dikelilingi asap bas. Nampak budak-budak main kat stesen bas, seronok je diaorang. Senyum, ketawa, gembira aja.

Children.

I thought to myself, how lucky they were to become kids. No need to think about anything, about commitment, about money, about all the petty things that us, adults always have in our minds.

Kadang-kadang aku rasa, beruntung jadi kanak-kanak. Tak payah fikir pasal apa pun. Pasal komitmen, pasal duit, pasal hal-hal kecil yang selalu buat kita orang dewasa tertekan.

The bus that brought Ken and me to Nong Khai.

Around 4.00 pm, the bus arrived. I entered the bus, put my backpacks on the floor and grabbed a seat. I looked out the window and saw the evening sky of Vientiane, my last for 2013 for sure. Deep in my mind, I felt sad having to leave this city. Nevertheless, life must go on. “The Scientist” by Coldplay was playing on repeat whilst the bus moving across the Friendship Bridge, entering the Land of Smiles.

This was hard.

Dalam pukul 4.00 petang, bas aku pun sampai. Aku masuk dalam bas, letak backpack aku dan cari tempat duduk. Aku tengok ke luar tingkap, tengok langit petang Vientiane buat kali terakhir untuk tahun 2013. Dalam hati, aku rasa sedih kena tinggalkan bandar ni, tempat ni. Tapi, hidup mesti diteruskan. Lagu “The Scientist” dendangan Coldplay berputar dalam kepala aku sepanjang perjalanan bas merentasi Friendship Bridge untuk ke negara Gajah Putih.

Back to the Land of Smiles. Chapter One ends.

“Nobody said it was easy It’s such a shame for us to part Nobody said it was easy No one ever said it would be this hard Oh, take me back to the start.”

End of Chapter One.

Tamat Bab Satu.

+++

The Vientiane-Nong Khai bus costs me 15,000 kip.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 30: End of Chapter One.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s