Asia | China | Yunnan Province | Ruili – 26 hours on a bus
The bus was still at the same place when I woke up in the morning. The villagers got a good day of business selling hard boiled eggs and bottled water to the passengers, some of whom were on the verge of pulling their hair out. The bus finally started moving again around noon, inching its way through the next few segments of roads still under repair. We arrived in Ruili by 11pm after having been on the bus for 26 hours completed exhausted. Worse yet, Ajian’s allergy was acting up, so we headed to the hospital first. While he lay in bed with a bottle of IV solution above his head, Wang Rui and I found a hotel and started checking out the town.
I’ve heard before that Ruili is much more active at night than during the day, and that was definitely true. All the restaurants, big or small, were open for business. People sat on the sidewalk, having a grand time socializing while making hotpot around a boiling pot of broth. We joined in, and once again, the owner was a man from Sichuan here looking for new riches. Kids came over trying to sell us roses, and said as a matter-of-factly to Wang Rui, ‘Uncle, you should get one for your girlfriend if you love her.’ ‘But what if this auntie here is not uncle’s girlfriend?’ They couldn’ come up with an answer, so they stood around for a minute or so pouting their lips, and left stomping their feet.
When we left the hotpot place at 2 in the morning, people still peddled on the bicycles around the city selling boiled corns to appease those who need a relief from the spicy night snacks. Ruili’s endurance was definitely outlasting mine.