The H5N1 Express

Trip Start Nov 10, 2005
Trip End Apr 30, 2006

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Flag of China  ,
Friday, January 13, 2006

When I left you last I was getting ready to head out to Vietnam. I purchased a bus ticket to the border as the rail line expereinced landslides a year back and is still out of service. I arrived at the bus station and pushed through the fumes of desiel and smog to find my bus. It was being repaired when I boarded and the lady in charge showed my to my sleeper bunk at the back. I sat down to take in my surroundings and prepare myself for the overnight journey. I put my large bag with my clothes in the back and layed the smaller one at my side on the bunk. To my suprise I then heard a bird call. I listened closer and realized this was not just one bird but many. I then looked under my seat to find 8-10 boxes with holes in the side and chirping coming from within. The sound was soothing as any bird call can be but I was not pleased to be lying down to rest no more than six inches away from hundreds of live baby chickens headed to Vietnam in an overnight bus. I now understand how disease can spread here so quickly because this was the best place to find bird flu.
I gathered my thoughts and went to the front of the bus to try and commuicate with the lady in charge. There were a dozen people milling around the bus at this time. Not having any luck communicating that I didn't like the birds under my seat I went back to find my seat again. To my suprise and sudden shock I couldn't find my smaller knapsack on upon my return. I looked around in a panic and which point several of those on the bus started yelling at me and pointed out the bus. SH*T!!!!!! I fell out of the bus and charged in the dircetion they were all pointing not really sure where to go. The station was packed, I ran through it and out onto the street, picked a direction and ran about a block before slowing down and realizing that my efforts were useless. I returned to the bus where the wonderful people who watched this happen started yelling at me. Proabably telling me what an idiot I was for leaving my knapsack beside an open window. Not fully understanding what had just occured, I retrieved the one knapsack I had left (the one with my clothes) and tried to get help from any of those in the immediate vacinity who had seen what happened.
Well, I got the lady in charge to take me to security where she called the police and I spend a wonderful evening filing a report and cancelling bank cards and doing all those necessary things that one gets to do where robbed overseas.
I am writing this now from Kunming as I wait for emergency cash and cards to make their way to my hotel. I should be here a week. I am very disapointed that my pictures are all gone but fortunetly it was only material items that are lost and I will carry on in a far more cautious manner so there is no need for telling me that. I have apprieciated that help and advice of those around me in the hostel as well as my family and friends for helping me to think clearly through these events. So, on to Vietnam....eventually and hopefully, without the birds.
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