Next time your bus breaks down



Really. It helps. You’ll get busy taking pictures, talking to your fellow travelers as they stand in the sun batting away flies and grimacing at the yelping neighborhood dogs, for whom a sudden invasion of foreign-smelling foreigners must be something like a canine iteration of the zombie apocalypse. Before you know it, you’re so involved in documenting the breakdown—this could end up being a story once you get somewhere with relatively normal sitting-down people sedated with locally available sedatives—it’s guaranteed you’ll be close to annoyed when it’s all over and you’re back in the bus on your way to the destination you’d chosen for yourself when you bought the ticket.

Of course, this breakdown could also take place at night, in the middle of nowhere, in which case you’ve probably been woken from a fitful sleep with a crick in your neck, dribble on your chin, the heat nibbling at your armpits and your groin, and the mumbling hubbub clamor of people talking in tongues so alien you wonder whether your fellow travelers are even human.

Then again, it might have turned frigidly cold—so cold that that you are woken by the tips of your ears and the beady point of your nose saying, So long, It’s been nice knowing you, buddy. You wipe at the crusty frosted windows with dead fingertips and you can see nothing out there except darkness and shadowy flurries of sleet. It’s high, higher than you’re used to—let’s say about five kilometers, how does that sound?—and your bones ache, and one of those lobes that collectively do everything they can to contribute to the myth of you as a unique human being is pounding at your skull and saying, Let me out.

In other words, I’m not saying blogging is the answer to everything, but twenty minutes out of Chumphon, which I will also blog about before too long, it helped.

Harvest Season, a novel, is now available in print and digital formats. And in the UK too: printdigitalFollow Chris Taylor on Twitter at @chrisvtaylor.

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