1. Hotel beds have bugs. (Fleas? Mosquitoes? I don’t know!) They itch.
2. Sometimes you have to be up at 5 a.m. to fight for a bus, and sometimes you have to wait hours for it to leave. And sometimes when you’re 20 minutes outside your destination, it will break down for 2 and a half hours.
3. People throw up on the buses. If you’re lucky, they’ll ask for a bag.
4. Drivers like to pack the bus as full as possible, often past the legal limit. When traffic cops stop them, they’ll argue over the ticket for hours. Everyone waits.
5. Windows only open to buy things off the road.
6. Headphones are good in theory. In reality the loudspeaker of Ethiopian bus music will always win.
7. There are no rest stops. There are multiple stops to rest. It’s best to find a nice bush, and never be in a hurry.
8. Personal space is a western concept. Here: Laps, arms and shoulders are fair game.
9. If someone next to you has fruit, snacks or gum, they’ll offer to share. As should you.
10. Even when you’re traveling alone, you’re never alone. People will always be there talking to you, offering you help and inviting you to lunch with them.