On and I were back on the road this afternoon after a wonderful but too short of a visit in her village. If I only had another day or two of vacation On and I could have spent it here.
We would catch the bus back to Vientiane just down the highway from the guesthouse we had stayed at the past two nights. When you want to catch the bus to go to Savannakhet or Vientiane, all you pretty much have to do is just stand on the side of the road—usually near some roadside stand—and the bus will stop for you.
After a sad goodbye with Bia (he told On to wait that he was going to get something for us to drink) it was going to be a long bus ride for us.
It was the only way we could leave without Bia crying too much—with him thinking that he was going to get something for us to drink.
“Wait here Mom,” Bia said, “I am going to get something for you to drink.”
When On told me later, it really choked me up.
Yes, it was going to be a very, very long bus ride north to Vientiane. Miles and miles to go before we could sleep. Maybe we would have enough time to get a room for a few hours when we did arrive in Vientiane. On the other hand, we just might go from one bus station to another bus station to get on the bus to Luang Prabang. We didn’t have to wait too long for the bus. On and I sat outside this roadside stand and could see the bus coming down the highway. Fortunately there were some seats available in the front of the bus for us. From Paksong it’s about two hours to Savannakhet where we would have about an hour layover before heading on to Vientiane. The first thing we did when we got to Savannakhet (other than stocking up on some food and drinks) was to change our seats—moving to the rear of the bus to have more room to stretch out. Within an hour we were back on the road again. Then, not long after we had left Savannakhet there was a loud crash followed by the sound of breaking glass. Half of the windshield (on the right) blew out (not sure how it happened)—spraying broken glass through the bus. Fortunately no one was hurt (On and I were so lucky to have changed our seats; if we hadn’t we might have been cut by some of the flying glass). Unfortunately though, the bus would not stop to have the windshield fixed; nor would we get on another bus. It was going to be a very, very chilly bus ride to Vientiane. It was a darn good thing that we did change our seats. We would have gotten very, very cold sitting up there in the front of the bus. It was a good thing that On and I had both decided to wear sweatshirts when we left Paksong. We were still quite cold though.
I thought for sure the bus would stop at Tha Khaek but it did not. In fact, the bus only stopped two times (and not for very long) before we got to Vientiane. By the time we did get to Vientiane we were so cold and tired. We would have to get a room for the night after all.