Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Ride Back to KT

The one week long Deepavali break ended yesterday. It was the 1st time i took a bus back from KL to KT and since there are only 1 or 2 bus trip to KT a day, i'm pretty sure i don't want to miss the bus. We got to Puduraya at 10.10am, 20 minutes ahead of our scheduled bus ride. One thing about Pudu bus station that certainly had not change besides the toxicating smell of carbon monoxides is the toilet. The flushing system of the female toilets have always been down, from my 1st visit to the toilet a few years back till now. But surprisingly, with the prices of petrol and fuel decreasing, the toilet entrance fee had increased! It's actually just an increment of 10 sen, but with increment, i expect to see at least some changes in the toilet. At least, repair the flushing system. Just imagine, hundreds or maybe during peak periods, thousands of ppl using the toilet each day with a broken down flushing system. Disgusting isn't it? And what happen to the money we pay to enter the toilet? Ain't it contributing partly 2 maintenance of the toilet as well?

Neway, at 10.30am sharp, all of us heading to Kuala Terengganu had obediently gathered at the platform and i was so happy to see an Express Kesatuan bus waiting there. We quickly went to the conductor and showed him our tickets, and i was wishfully hoping we could get back by 4 pm so i can still do some laundry and cleaning up b4 dinner time. Alas, the conductor took a look at the ticket, then told us that that bus was heading to Kuantan and not KT. The KT bus had not arrived. My heart sank a little. Ok, maybe the bus will be running a little late, after all with KL traffic jams and Malaysians inpunctuality, it's not common for anything to be late. So, a group of us waited there for what seems like forever breathing in toxic carbon monoxides as we anticipate the arrival of our bus. But, after half an hour, i couldn't stand it anymore, i felt so suffocated, so we went back up and kept an eye from there. We made an enquiry at the bus counter, and was told that the bus had broke down but will arrive soon.

So, we just waited and waited and waited, not daring to venture too far just in case the bus suddenly came as we were not told a specific time when only will the bus arrived. Then about another half an hour later, a man came and told us to move to another platform to wait for our bus. It seems, we weren't taking Express Kesatuan anymore. We were asked to wait for Express Sutera, another bus by another bus company heading to KT. At the platform, the same thing happened. The current bus there was heading to Kuantan, and the KT bus were not there yet, and again all the KT ppl had to wait for dno-how-long inhaling carbon monoxides and a mixture of other toxic gases. My patience was running thin, and we were all like fools, not knowing when our bus will come or what happen to our bus. Finally, one of the guys working for the bus company kindly told DD that the next bus for KT will only come at 12.30pm, which is an hour later upon asking. The poor other fellas who did not know were still waiting anxiously down there, poisononing themselves with toxic gases and waiting till their neck almost grew another 20 inches long.

Finally at about 12.30pm, the bus to KT finally came and everyone rushed up the 2 by 2 seater bus including those going to Kuantan causing some confusion as there were insufficient number of seats. The bus to KT finally left Puduraya at about 1 pm, 2 and the half hour behind schedule. The whole journey was pretty smooth, stopping at 2 stops for toilet breaks and food, thank God for no more break downs or jams before the bus turned into Kuantan! I thought they were heading straight to KT but it took them about 4 hours just to reached Kuantan bus station to alight some passengers and board some more.

However, the number of passengers alighting and boarding was not equal, the number alight is less than the number board, so as you can guess, there were insufficient seats. And in this kind of first come first serve basis, usually the last one boarding will be the one without the place and in this case, it's a young mother with her 3-4 year old daughter. The young mother was smiling nervously as she came to realize that there was no more seat for her and her daughter and the bus driver started to look anxious too. But there was no other choice, the bus gotta moved on and they have to be responsible. So, the bus driver told the mother and daughter to temporarily sat right at the back, where the alternative driver bed is located. The back is always the bumpiest part of the bus, and to sat right at the back with no proper seat for another few hours just don't sound like a very comfortable place. Just as everyone was starting to feel angry at the bus company for such a mistake, one middle age Malay gentleman stood up from his seat and offer to swap with the mother-daughter pair. That was a very kind move and despite having half the bus filled with young ppl of 20-30 years old, the one who offered to took the worst seat is someone of middle age.

Finally, we reached KT about 9.30 pm. It had been a long ride, i thought the time i traveled from JB to KT was long enough, but this was as long. In my younger days, i like to spend time just on the bus, or in the car traveling, i don't mind long traveling hours as we get to enjoy the sceneries and surroundings, but after seeing the same sceneries umpteen times, sometimes i just want to get to my destination quickly. In that long almost 9 hours ride back to KT, i realized how wonderful is it to have at least one travel partner to kill ur total boredom and in a bus that is filled with 80% males, with no barrier to separate between seats and no optioning for ur partner next to you, it felt so much safer to be seating with a person you know than you don't. If the person next to you is a person also of the same sex, it's alright or a decent guy who knows how to keep his own barrier, it's ok too. But what if the person next to you is a guy who tries to take advantage of the girl next to him, bumping into you every now and then, then 'accidentally' molested you or try to steal your things or keep sneezing non stop and uses his hand to wipe off his mucus only to be somewhat touching your seat the next minute? The probability of the type of stranger ending up sitting next to you is so vast but today had been good, at least nobody tries to take advantage of anybody, and there's no one that wipes his mucus off the bus. And in that almost causing my butt to have sores ride back to KT, i witnessed an act of kindness that surround me with a surge of happiness knowing kind gentleman do exist in this world. :)

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hey allison, thanx for visiting my blog! do drop by again ya. btw great foodie stuff in ur blog, keep it up!