Thoughts from the Chicken Bus Paperback – Sep 25 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
In 2008 at age 29, Jenifer Bubenik of San Diego, CA broke up with her boyfriend, forsook a taxing government PR gig, and did what any sane person would do - cashed-in her freaky-flier miles for an airline ticket to as far away as she could get, which was, for no other expressed reason, to Belize in Central America. (At this point, the reader might reasonably ask "Why not Hawaii or Canada?" But, let's move on.) Over fifteen subsequent days, she backpacked and (chicken) bussed her way through Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Returning home to Southern California, she was so bitten by the travel bug that Bubenik decided to immediately plunder her life savings and spend additional weeks doing it all over again, this time back to Central and South America - Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador - again by bus and with backpack, pepper spray, and a copy of a LONELY PLANET guide that she ultimately re-entitled "Lonely Liar" for all of the flat-out wrong information it contained.
THOUGHTS FROM THE CHICKEN BUS is Jenifer's engaging and casual narrative of her 70+ days on the rutted roads. It includes a 20-page section of B&W photos, an addition so rare in travel essays, and yet so valuable, that I awarded extra points even before reading the first paragraph.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
She is an egotistical, self absorbed, spoiled twit, who was afraid of being raped, tortured, and killed at every turn. I found no adventure, no sense of compassion, no attempt at cultural understanding in this ridiculously written book. The only good thing about this book is that if she could get that trash published, then there is some hope for more talented authors....unless her daddy is the publisher...how in the world did she get that trash published? Plus, I had to give her one star because there were no minus stars.
There are two surprises about the book--how she manages, page after page, to come up with new complaints and why, if traveling there is so awful, she went back the second time.
She comes across as cranky and neurotic. Apparently every man she met wanted to rape her. She continually castigates the Lonely Planet guide for having outdated bus departure times. Apparently she thinks Lonely Planet should republish the book every time a local bus company changes the schedule. She abandons a three month volunteer commitment in a remote Ecuadorian village after one week because living conditions are intolerable. This despite the fact 42 families are enduring the situation every day.
Rarely does she connect with the country she is passing through. Often she is actively hostile to the natives (particularly in the last Ecuadorian village).
It is possible someone has written a more self-absorbed, self-centered book. I have not heard of it. This book is not worth the 99 cents it costs. The author should pay us damages for sitting through this drivel.
The product description is also erronious. The author did not actually do much volunteer work whilst on her trip, she showed up for voluteer work, complained about how people followed her around (honey - they were intersted in you), and left, crying after a few days.
She also manages to complain about each town she enters, stating each place was poor, trash ridden and smelly. She thought every man would rape her, and never gives a positive comment about any man she meets in Central America. She only spends time with other travelers, who are not from Central America and passes judgement on how the people of each country live.
She manages to only visit tourist attractions (with the exception of her "volunteer work") and tries to pass herself off as an experienced backpacker (coming from experience she has a long journey ahead of her).
She also cannot understand why Columbians will not take US $. It is because YOU ARE NOT IN AMERICA. Why would they take US $?
The book was humerous to read if only to see the author bumble around, scared, with her pepper spray by her side, but this book does not represent true travel, nor the people of Central America.
Echoing many other comments it is not worth the $.99 you pay for it nor is it a true reflection of backpacking.
Don't waste your money on this "book." Travel to Latin America yourself and try to see out of your own first-world "misery" while you're there.