Less than 5 minutes and a good mile later on, the bus pulled off the street and into what were a good garbage dump. Mounds of discarded plastic material rose up around the edges of the substance and in the centre had been two yurts, the original round houses within Mongolia. Each possessed a crooked steel chimney protruding from the guts of their roofing and a wooden door protected with scraps of colorful fabric arranged in a few sort of artistic design. In it, high, grey, concrete tower blocks scarred the skyline and dwarfed these one-roomed nomadic homes.
It became sharp that this was another bus station and, although much less busy as the prior one, was where almost all of the passengers and plans, had been ready. I was promptly ushered off the bus and viewed as, for another hour, the driver and his boy played Tetris with an increase of luggage than I thought practical to cram onto the bus. The seats at the trunk had been pulled up and folded apart to create space for enormous sacks of corn and rice, dark brown cardboard boxes and major bags.
The flooring of the bus was also pulled up, and a variety of bags were located where it turned out and then covered by the flooring that was replaced on top. Cavities under seats were packed tightly and leg area was given up in favor of yet even more luggage. Every in . of space was used and once everything was in, solid straps were used to secure everything into place. Finally, seats that had been removed from the back of the bus were unfolded and precariously balanced in the right now raised aisle – extra seating for extra people.
After a final stop at the first of many long-drop toilets, hidden from view by only a thin sheet of corrugated iron, I was motioned to get back on the bus. I was directed to a seat on what was now the back row, thanks to all the luggage behind it, beside the window. At first I was thrilled – I got a front side row seat to the universe as I watched it go by. I was quickly reminded of a trip I took with my Scottsdale electrician friend when we went for a joyride with my parents’ car. Nevertheless, I quickly recognized that the windowpane was both a blessing and a curse.