Night buses in China: a journey of hope from Guilin to Hong Kong (part two)

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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We leave again, the tiredness of the day is felt and I finally slip into sleep but only to wake up shortly after with an overwhelm. The bus is stopped again, always total darkness around. "My God" I think, terrified of staying all night standing by the side of the road. The Chinese in the corridors pick up their bags and silently line up one after the other. When the last one has got out, the driver closes the doors and drives off.



"Did you leave them there?"

I ask amazed, but no one cares to understand what I'm asking and to give me an answer. We continue for a few more km then we are stopped for the umpteenth time again. This time it is a roadblock. They take our documents, the driver gets out.
From the window I watch him animatedly discussing with a man in uniform, who evidently asks him about us foreigners because he then takes the trouble to come and see us in person.

Once the checks are over, he returns our passports with a crooked smile, more of a grimace than anything else, and makes a sign to the driver which means: you can go. Finally, I think, who knows if I can relax now. Even today I have the serious suspicion that the purpose of these trips is to not allow passengers to travel in peace at any cost: a few minutes later we are stopped again, again in the middle of nowhere, again looking at one with the other with a questioning expression.

What a nightmare. Minutes pass, we remain passive to the useless passage of time, so much so what is the point of complaining when the people in front of you understand only when it suits them. But here's the good news. In the distant darkness, lights appear, first flickering almost indistinguishable, then closer: they are car headlights and not just one car. The cars slow down and stop near us, they are actually taxis, I am already getting ready to pick up my stuff, but here the doors open and all our Chinese friends that we had abandoned before the check get off !!



Hurray I'm so happy to see them that I'm celebrating too, they hug each other, they jump, they all scream happily, danger of control escaped in short, they go back on board and finally all together we leave. In fact, the idea of ​​having left these poor Christs in the middle of the Chinese countryside in the middle of the night, far from any inhabited place did not make me feel so calm, but now our refugees are safe and sound, what about a perfect organization, operation Chinese smuggling perfectly successful.

The journey resumes and at the first light of dawn we arrive at Hong Kong.


We get off the bus, we have to cross the border, everything goes smoothly, we get on another minibus that will take us to the center where we will look for a room for the next few nights.

While the minivan whizzes on the smooth asphalt I observe the slender and elegant skyscrapers from the windows, the rising sun reflects on the glass and steel architecture in golden gleams, it is a wonderful sight. Since yesterday we have made such a large economic leap that it almost seems to me to have been a real journey through time; we left the huts and the fields of the farmers to be today in one of the most technological and advanced cities in the world and I too in a certain sense compared to yesterday I feel richer: I have one more story to tell when I get home, remembering all the smiles from tonight, and once again it's a story with a happy ending.

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