Lonesome Highway | Nepal Bus Ride

In Nepal I got on the wrong bus to Kathmandu. Two buses were leaving at the same time, from the same bus station, heading to the same destination…

Riding on the top of a bus in Nepal.

An old self-portrait from a fun ride: on the top of a bus in Nepal. Click to see larger image.

The guy that sold me the ticket, pointed me to the wrong bus. The bus that I was supposed to be on, had left just before the one I weren’t supposed to be on and my argument that both buses were heading to the same place and that I had a ticket to that place, didn’t seem to make any sense to them… So, the bus driver were speeding to catch up with the other one, so that I could get on the right bus.
By that time, the bus was kind of full and I told the driver that I wanted to sit on the roof instead of in the aisle. On the roof the other passengers had stored bags of rice, which are very comfortable to lay down/sit on.
I can’t remember exactly how long the drive was, but it took a day – probably somewhere between 6-8 hours.

There was a black guy up there on the roof too. Luckily he didn’t speak any English, so instead of wasting our time on empty small talk we both relaxed and enjoyed the view. For most parts, the roads were good, but as you can see from the photos, some construction work was going on here and there…

Lonesome Highway by Shane MacGowan

As I wonder down
the long lonesome highway
I meet other people on the way
the broken hearted lovers
who’ve been left along the byway
living by night and hiding from the day

The people I meet
as I go on my way
they all have a story to tell
how they once had a lover
who left them on the byway
to wander this lonesome hell

and if you know, don’t let me go
I love you so

So as I carry on
down the long lonesome highway
I meet other people on the way
more broken hearted lovers
who’ve been left along the byway
living by night and hiding from the day

and if you know, don’t let me go
cause I love you so
I love you so


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42 thoughts on “Lonesome Highway | Nepal Bus Ride

  1. Looking very dashing on the roof of the bus there, C. Love it that you sat on top, and the bus driver let you. I suppose he has seen it before. Also, I like your approach to meaningless small talk – don’t bother 😀

    • Being quiet and enjoying the view was is so much more rewarding than meaningless small talk. I hate small talk and when you’re traveling you often have to repeat the same phrases endlessly…

      Once I saw this documentary on behavioral psychology where they had a hidden camera in a restaurant. In one scene there were two women that sat down and ate, but they had close to no conversation. The psychologist in the program said that they were probably related, because we feel most comfortable when we’re around people that we know well: we don’t need to keep the conversation going at all times.
      After they’d finished the meal, the journalist asked them and it turned out that they were mother and daughter.

      Edit: Forgot to say thanks for the compliment! 😀

      • I am no fan of small talk too and even on my fairly short public transport trip to work, I hate it when people start chatting… Just, go away…

        That is an interesting documentary. I’m not one to want to keep the conversation going at all times…I’m just not a talker really 😀

        No worries, C. You looked great up there on top of the world 😀

  2. You’ve had some great adventures in your life! What a treasure trove of memories you must have. If I were you, I’d write down as many as ever possible, to share with your son as he gets older. I’ve never really travelled, but twice I’ve gotten on the wrong train in Sweden. One would have taken me to Gothenburg, where I was NOT going. They stopped the train in Katrineholm (for me), I had to run across the tracks to catch another one …

    • There has been a lot of adventures, that’s for sure. Many of which have been alcohol and/or drug related. I’m not so sure if I’d want my son to know about those stories too early though… 😀
      If I’d had the time, I’d write down some of the stories, I have enough material for a book that’s for sure, but the curse of living the boring, work oriented life that I’m living these days, is that there’s not enough time to be creative. I’m just slowly rotting away every day…

      • I know what you mean … I wouldn’t want that either, if I’d had kids.

        I hear you, about time and rotting away. Had I still been working, I would never have been able to blog this way I do now.

        • Several people have told me to write a book. The last time it happened was just this weekend when I was telling some of my stories to a lesbian couple. Most of the stories aren’t kids friendly, but it could have been a good book for adults.

          My happy thoughts on this ordinary Monday:
          I’m glad I got to experience all the stuff that I did when I could, because after you have kids, you’re basically stuck. You can’t get rid of all your things and go travel, or do anything spontaneous. Holidays have to be kids friendly and the fun is reserved for the kid. Picking shells on the beach with a kid is nice, but it’s not fun…
          Family holidays are nice, but I no longer have a family.
          To me, grown-up life is extremely boring, repetitive and mindless. It gives me nothing.
          Today there was this meeting at work about pension plans. I don’t even have my own apartment (which you probably know is the standard in the Scandinavian countries. At least it is in Norway and I guess the situation is the same in Sweden). When I die, my son will be left with a bunch of shit, nothing of substance.
          All that I have to look forward to now is some holidays and weekends, then becoming a pensioner, but to tell you you the truth I hope that I’ll die long before that: this existence with work, work, work, just bores the hell out of me…

          • I understand all that. One has to change one’s way of thinking, somehow … otherwise you go nuts. Focus on the little things and just survive those eight hours a day, to put food on the table. Once you reach your retirement age, you won’t wish you were dead, and it will arrive a lot faster than it feels like now. I think of stuff that happened twenty years ago, and I can’t believe it has been that many years. And most importantly; I don’t feel any different! Theoretically, I would have about twenty years left to live and I want to try and make the best I possibly can out of them — do whatever it is I enjoy doing.

            Yes, mainly rental apartments there too, but many condos also.

          • Just surviving those eight hours a day… To me that doesn’t make any sense at all and the ones that do that are the ones that have already gone nuts: we have only one life and most people are wasting it on trivialities, boring tasks and empty talk about sports.

          • True. Imagine the people who work with what they love to do, and even get applauded, standing ovations and awards for it! I never got any recognition for putting up with all the stupidity … BUT, society is the way it is, and we all Got to eat.

  3. Looks like your’e having a real adventure, i’ve obviously lots to catch up on as very behind getting time to read anything these days, looking forward to more. Are you still on the trip?

    I’m curious why it was good the black guy didn’t speak any English?


    • No, this trip ended 11 years ago. It was good that he didn’t speak English because then we didn’t have to waste our time on empty small talk (I did mention it in the text). 😀

        • The general English knowledge in Nepal isn’t good enough to have meaningful conversations. The Nepalese is a bit better than the Indians when it comes to conversations: “Which country you belongs? What’s your name? Do you have a girlfriend? Did you fuck your girlfriend?” – that sums up about 65% of the questions that I was constantly asked (from total strangers) countless times per day, every day, for 9 months in India… I’m not even kidding!
          Enlightening things in that part of the world, usually means that you’ve run into some bogus Guru/Krishna piece of shit, a “Holy” guru that want to you to give money to a temple or directly to his pockets.
          “Enlightenment, ten rupees only.”

  4. Misadventures sure are a lot of the time the most memorable adventures. Nice experience. In the Philippines, at least back in the day, we just hold on to the back of a jeepney. Sometimes, to avoid having to pay the fare.

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