I had completed a familiar route: Arrived in Bangkok, journeyed up North, hopped over to Cambodia, and scooted back over the border to where I began – and now it was time to venture down South. Bus being the cheapest mode of transport to take, it was obviously my preference. Climbing aboard the grubby metal beauty that was to bear me the doorstep of the infamous islands, I could only feel excitement and anticipation, despite the journey ahead.
Fourteen hours later and my emotions were something else entirely. The eccentric, platinum haired, middle-aged French woman who had sat next to me had jabbered well into the night, and now proceeded to poke me awake so that she could discuss whether I thought there was food on the coach. She was bizarre even by backpacking standards. Worse than that, though, I had begun to get pins and needles in my bum. I shifted around trying to get rid of them, but they only got worse. I wasn’t concentrating on my neighbours rambling and she began to look annoyed; I couldn’t really care less – the pinching, pricking feeling had begun to spread down my legs, and then… up my back? What was going on?
I twisted in my seat to examine it. A teeming nest of red ants was crawling in and around the crevice of my seat and – after a brief (and hopefully subtle) inspection – in my pants! Shrieking I jumped out of my seat and ran down to the toilet to de-ant myself. My pants were beyond hope, but my jeans, at least, were salvageable.
Once I’d quieted the attack, I returned to my seat, I perching on the very edge. Thank fully we were nearing the end of the journey, and I had less than an hour to avoid the little blighters. Needless to say, I had never been so happy to arrive anywhere in my life, and my next change of clothes was the most appreciated wardrobe change I’ve ever had. I now always triple check my seat on a bus – it really just isn’t worth the rash.