Monday, March 12, 2012

You Have To Get There

I woke up on the bus, looked out the front window, and jumped when I saw the vehicle careening toward us.

About then I figured we weren't in Kansas anymore.

When you're on a mission trip there are two things that are inevitable: crazy food stories and travel adventures. You have to get there, and you have to eat.

Going to Thailand from Lakeside, Montana was an adventure in itself. Kalispell -> Spokane -> Seattle -> Tokyo -> Bangkok. Eleven hours to Tokyo and another nine to Bangkok. That's some serious seat time.

Too bad Bangkok wasn't our destination.

We were heading to Chanthaburi, a town about 5 hours away by bus (I've heard there's a new highway and it's only 3 hours - nice!). When the mission leaders met us at the airport, they talked to us and refreshed us with some fruit (got another food story there, maybe another time). We then loaded the bus around 1 or 2 am local time. The excitement from hitting the ground ended, and we all crashed.

That leads us to my near panic attack.

I was on the very back seat lying down. I had the view straight down the aisle when I awoke. The bus was passing another vehicle, and I was freaked out when I saw another car coming right at us. This wasn't hundreds of yards away, mind you. We swerved back just before the car sped by.

Remember the line in Pirates of the Carribean (the first one that was really good, not the crappy sequels) when Barbossa tells Elizabeth that the Pirate Code is more like guidelines than actual laws?

Yeah, that's Thai driving laws too.

I held on for dear life the rest of the way.

Watch out for bumps!
 And this was a nice bus. It wasn't one of those Asian ones with people hanging out the back or riding on top (been on those too).

I also rode as the third person on a motorcycle built for two, and almost fell out of a Thai version of an El Camino, except the back was the size of a Toyota Corolla. Good times.

I know other missionary friends that have hiked over scary suspension bridges, climbed mountains, and ridden elephants, all in the pursuit of reaching people they want to help. My experiences are tame compared to some stories I've heard.

They say life isn't just a destination, but it's a journey as well. Sometimes the journey is all the adventure you need!

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