Chicken Bus - Guatemala

(Almost) Losing a Friend

As I got off the Sultan bus in San Pedro de Sula, Honduras and began finding my way through the station to my next transport, didn’t immediately occur to me that something was wrong. Halfway through the terminal it hit me, my friend was still on the bus.

How could I have been so careless?

I won’t diminish the loss one feels when truly and permanently losing a loved one, that’s far greater. Nevertheless, I was instilled with a sense of panic. I ran back to the bus already knowing full well that it was gone, I had even watched it pull away when I had first entered the terminal.

Thinking I might know where my transport had gone, I ran full tilt across the massive parking lost to the bus gas station. Not an easy feat with a healing foot and a full backpack, but I managed it none the less, I suppose I was running on adrenalin. The bus wasn’t there, of course it wasn’t, most of them were chicken busses, none of them looked like mine from the moment I had set out but I had run anyway.

Resigned to the loss, I walked back to the terminal. There I was greeted by a Honduran man who was sure he knew where my bus had gone, that is, if it was still at the terminal. He guided me swiftly to the Sultan ticket office on the opposite side of the terminal. We didn’t know how much time we had, if any.

There was a bus there, whether it was mine or not was in question, I really didn’t think it was. Then I noticed the yellow stripped shirt of the Ayudante (driver’s helper) from my bus, it had to be mine.

I rushed onboard and back to my seat. He was sitting there quietly waiting and wondering where I had gone and why he’d been forgotten. It hadn’t occurred to me until now how aptly named the city was where this incident happened.

I had been lucky this time, I had forgotten Pedro (and my hat) on the bus. I learned a hard lesson, double check everything when I get off any transportation. I have to be more vigilant in the future, I don’t want to lose my friend again, or my hat.