Although there is a little school in my village it only caters for those in primary school. Once kids hit high school age they need to change schools to one that is 11 kms away. In most countries this would mean a 15 minute bus ride but here in back blocks of Thailand it takes 90 minutes! Part of the reason is the amount of pick up /drops offs along the way but the main reason is that it never gets out of 2nd gear! It just chugs along at a fast jogging pace and eventually arrives at its destination.
My village is the end of the route and the bus stays overnight while the driver lives in a neighbouring village. Just a few weeks ago he was fixing the bus when the jack collapsed and his hand was squashed. He lost three fingers and was off work for two days. No workers compensation here, just suck it up and get back on with the job.
It departs the village at 6.20am and arrives back at around 5pm. A very long day for students especially those that are just 12 years old like my niece. 90 minutes on a school bus each way is my idea of torture but to make it worse (in my mind but perhaps not the students) this bus, like most in Thailand, has a sound system installed that I would bet cost more then bus did! It is for this reason that my girls have named it the boom bus. Every morning and every evening I kid you not, we can hear this thing arriving a good four or five minutes before we see it!
I have no idea how anyone can stand it but then perhaps I am just showing my age as all the students seem to bound on and off the boom bus with a spring in their step and wearing that famous Thai smile.