i bought a multi-stop bus ticket for $30. i remember it clearly, i remember the man who sold it to me asking if i wanted to go to Da lat and I said yes, because at that point I thought I had all the time in the world, he said that would make the ticket $30 total and i could get on a bus the next morning. I walked away thinking, that’s ridiculous; ho chi minh city to hanoi with various stops in between, for $30, thats nearly 1000 miles, there’s got to be a catch.
that night i sat outside a bar, on another one of those chairs made for an 8 year, with a few guys i’d met at the hostel, none of whom fitted in the chairs either. next to us was a bus driver, he was drinking saigon red beer, which is ever so slightly stronger than saigon green and he was sat with his police officer friend. somehow we ended up talking to them and the bus driver, who by this point had ploughed through about 5 beers, was saying he had to get up early to drive his bus. this particular bus driver supported manchester united and he said he had a sticker on the front of his bus to show his support; that’s why he drank red beer as well apparently. he probably left us about 2am and i remember going to sleep that night reminding myself to check the front of the bus for manchester united stickers before we left in the morning, and thinking, that’s the catch, the bus drivers are mental.