I woke up to get breakfast downstairs at the hostel, but I was feeling a bit queasy. I realized after a few bites of banana that I would not be able to stomach much more, and went back to bed. I slept until I had to check out at noon.
I was feeling a bit better, so I went to meet Hannah for lunch at Rangoon Tea House. The restaurant was beautiful– modern & bright, with French-bistro vibes. The menu is mostly modern Burmese food. I got tea leaf salad and an eggplant bao. Both really great, but I couldn’t handle them very well since I wasn’t feeling 100%.
We got back to the hostel, and I laid down for a few minutes until it was time to catch a cab to go to the bus station.
Once we got to the bus station, I was REALLY feeling nauseous and threw up a couple times in a disgusting, hole-in-the-ground bus station bathroom. It was baaaadd… imagine throwing up spicy food. Into a squat toilet that hasn’t been cleaned in years. Ugh. Probably one of the more demoralizing experiences of my life.
At 4 pm we got on the bus. The outside of it was all Pokemon drawings, and the inside was adorned with Hello Kitty blankets for the customers.
The entertainment for the first few hours of the bus ride was loud, monotone buddhist monk chants. After that, it was loud Myanmar pop music.
I pretty much slept the entire time until we reached our first rest stop. It was at a restaurant. The food looked so old and dirty, it certainly did not increase my appetite. I tried to puke while everyone was off eating/doing their own thing, but I couldn’t bring myself to puke in public.
We got back on the (freezing) bus. This was the point that it started to smell really bad because all the guys’ betel nut spit was starting to accumulate in the trash cans. It really is appalling how much betel nut Burmese guys chew. EVERY SINGLE man on the bus was doing it. And the bus was 90% men. All spitting red gunk into trash cans.
We stopped again, and luckily this time the bathroom was slightly cleaner.
We got back on the bus for the final few hours. More betel nut. More hacking. More smell. Ugh.
We got to Ngapali around 5 am. I survived, somehow.