[continued from yesterday’s post. Just remembering the whole thing pooped me out 😀 ]
So, ok. A whole bus laughing. We all soon settled down for the 10 hour plus journey. MC and I listened to our iPods while looking at the scenery: small villages, padi fields, small towns, big towns, rows of stalls, banners proclaiming every sort of soto, monuments, faraway mountain ranges, markets… it was an endless series of 2 second snapshots of Java. The other passengers were all asleep by then, fortunately our bus didn’t have any TVs, a big requirement on all Malaysian buses who then go on to play the most atrocious movies ever made. However I do remember being amazed by a couple one seat in front of us who, I swear to God, ate most of the way. When they weren’t napping or whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ear, they were eating: tofu with cili padi, chocolates, pop mie bought at a station, keropok, some dick-looking dodol, more keropok, sausages… I started to get alarmed by the veritable pantry they had brought along. Did they know something we didn’t??
After what seemed like a lifetime but in reality only 2130, we stopped at what looked at first like a reasonable R&R. I was the first one off, and made a beeline to a brightly-lit stall. The food looked tired and very unappetising. It was then MC pointed out a sign that stopped us in our tracks.
AWAS orang tak dikenal yang menawarkan makanan atau minuman yang berisi obat bius. (beware of strangers offering food or drink containing drugs)
That effectively cancelled any meal plans we might have had, but I was too hungry and decided to risk a soto-flavoured Pop Mie. They couldn’t possibly drug a whole cauldron of boiling water!
2345. We still hadn’t reached our destination. The bus had stopped on a 30 degree slope. There was a freaking traffic jam of some sort! Cops everywhere and people squatting on the roadside. Landslide? Overturned truck? Terrorists? We never found out. About 30 minutes later we were on our way again. As we were speeding on some lonely road at 0045, suddenly the driver screamed “Cileunyi! Cileunyi!” and we hopped down with our backpacks to … nothing. No terminal of any sort, no other travellers, not even a bus stop, just a few vans and motorbikes by the side of a highway. Fortunately a Bluebird taxi was idling 100m away waiting for a client and we bribed him to drive us to Bandung which was a good 10 minutes away at 120km/hour. No seatbelts and the man was driving like a freaking maniac. I gripped MC’s hand as hard as I could and muttered curses at the ticket agent in Giwangan. Lady? You’re one shitty mofo.
It all ended well however and by 0200 I was showered and clean again at our hotel which has the unfortunate address of No.3 Jalan Seram.