Take a Deetour

"I write to find out what I think." - Joan Didion

Monday, December 05, 2005


My view for 7+5 hours out of 48:
Turns out the NiCE Bus wasn't quite so nice after all.

What should've been a 5 hour journey turned out to be 7 hours long due to the blardee Causeway checkpoint traffic and then at the toll booth getting into KL.

I actually didn't mind the length of the journey - I'm a good traveller that way, but I kept wondering whose greasy head had been resting on the seat before mine, whose grubby face had left the oily streaks across the glass window, what kind of ground up animal parts were in the "complimentary" hotdog they served...

Plus the PRC (I could tell from his accent) guy the aisle over appeared to have swallowed an entire explosives factory, judging from the way he hacked and coughed the whole journey through. "Germs! Germs!" was my horrified, silent cry. Unfortunately and coincidentally, I happened to be reading this passage from Polly Evan's travelogue, Fried Eggs with Chopsticks - Around China by Any Means Possible when Phlegm Guy started his violent guttural symphony:

"A painfully thin man aged about thirty hawked loudly and spat a great glob of phlegm onto the pavement just centimetres from my foot... I sidestepped away from the phlegm. It didn't seem healthy to walk close to fluids emanating from that man's body. A middle-aged woman picked freely at her nose. Then, in a glorious culmination of this open celebration of mucus, an old man walked past me squeezing the tips of his nostrils as he went, and, with a mighty blast, shot two great jets of snot out onto the road."

So I was relieved to finally arrive in KL and to tumble off the bus, albeit on slightly shakey legs.

Then I realised I'd forgotten to change my Singapore $$$ to Malaysian Ringgits. Nervously flagging down a cab, I crossed my fingers and hoped he wouldn't mind (you already know my luck with taxi drivers) me not being able to pay till I got to T & C's and called them to come downstairs with the money.

Thankfully, this taxi driver didn't berate me for my single status, but did talk my ear off about why taking taxis are better than driving yourself round the very confusing KL road network. He then proceeded to totally contradict himself by getting lost on said network. 40 minutes later, C had to drive out in search for us instead. Lucky me, he paid for the cab before I had to do any explaining.

The best was yet to come though. The rest of the weekend (save meals and toilet breaks) was an endless stream of voice-overs and audio dubbing. By around 4am the first day, things got pretty hazy.

The view for a large part of my 48 hours in KL:

But if I occasionally turned my head to the right, I saw this out the window:

And then one time, a rainbow appeared to take the edge off non-stop slave recording.


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