As was firmly established earlier today, bus drivers are all nihilists, and bus transport is quite possibly the worst kind of public transportation, anywhere. And it seems like everyone's got a horrible bus trip story.
My worst bus experience was, of course, in Eastern Europe. Transportation between any two points in the former Yugoslavia can be a bit dicey, and that goes doubly so for bus travel.
Back in 2010, my friend Nolan and I had to somehow make it from Podgorica, formerly known as the communist city of Titograd and the capital of Montenegro, to Pristina, Kosovo, a city that never seems to have recovered from all the wars (and nowadays is famous for its golden statue of Bill Clinton).
And we had to do it at night.
We headed down to the Podgorica Bus Station, possibly the saddest and most decrepit location on the entire planet. Everything was gray, from the walls, to the floor, to the strange excuse for food we managed to obtain, to the stares we received from locals wondering why two clearly-out-of-place Americans had landed in that particular spot on planet Earth.
Somehow, we managed to board the correct bus at the correct time, and our nightmare began.
We were taken on a terrifying ride through the Montegrin country side, which seemed to be entirely composed of mountain passes and horrific, bottomless drops down below into ravines, all without any semblance of a guardrail. The only thing that clued us in to our imminent death was staring at the window, and being greeted by nothing but an inky blackness that never ended. The driver seemed to have a complete disregard for anything living, and appeared to be doing his darndest to get us as close to that empty death as possible.
And the whole time, the delightful sounds of local turbofolk music videos emanated from the lonely, small TV set at the front of the vehicle. Turbofolk, for those unaware, sounds like this:
I was going to die, and my death was going to have the soundtrack of techno accordion.
Somehow we made it to Kosovo in one piece, but I'm not sure how. Maybe I did die that day, and all this is just a dream.
It wouldn't surprise me at all.
So what's your worst bus horror story? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo credit: Morten Knutsen