Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lost in Transit

Disclaimer: This list was created on our Worst Travel Day Ever, which entailed an overland journey from Indonesia to Thailand. On New Year's Eve, we left Indonesia at 5a.m. via ferry. We ended up in Kuala Lumpur and got on the wrong bus. We were dropped off in Alor Setar, Malaysia, near a very violent and unstable border crossing with Thailand, at 11:30p.m. with nowhere to stay. Instead of panicking, we wrote down every absurd thing we could possibly think of about our journey through Southeast Asia.

1. Is there a toilet paper shortage we don’t know about? And why is there a garden hose beside the toilet? Do you want me to water your flowers? I’d happily do that in exchange for some t.p.

2. “Hey you, where you go?!” If I wanted you to take me somewhere, I’d let you know. So, why do you follow me around, tapping me on the shoulders exclaiming, “Obama good. Hey, where you go?”

3. $30.00USD? Really? Now, is that rat that scurried out of your “deluxe suite” complimentary or do I have to pay extra for it?

4. Can you explain why the bus picked me up at platform 30 instead of platform 4? Further, do you happen to know why it failed to take me where you said it would? Do you see a problem with the fact that it dropped us off at midnight in a random town? I’m sorry but how is that, “Better. This better.”

5. Why is it always so hot?

6. Are all Thai songs sappy love ballads sung by men in tight pants wearing hot pink lipstick?

7. Hold on a minute. Let me make sure I have this straight: you want me to pay to come into your country and to leave the country. Huh? Indonesia, you don't make sense.

8. I don’t understand why we missed the bus. We followed your instructions to the tee: you said, “Go stand outside 7-11 and look like you want to be picked up.” We did that. So, where did we go wrong?

9. You’re telling me there’s not a single helmet on this island? I see, it’s okay though because when I crash my scooter I’ll knock myself out and, “won’t feel a thing.” Great.

10. So is the garbage truck delayed or is the colorful array of candy wrappers, soda cans and diapers merely decoration?

11. Awe, what cute dogs everywhere. Rabid beasts? Too bad, they’re adorable.

12. “Do you think she understood what vegetarian meant?” I asked. Sean shook his head and extracted a fully intact chicken foot from the noodle soup. “Nope.” Yummy.

13. How is it possible that this mosquito net is a mosquito trap…. and that we’ve become the bait?! It’s a good thing we brought Afterbite to bathe in after waking every morning for a week straight covered in angry, red bumps.

14. “Obama! America! MTV!” the 7-11 clerk shouted excitedly. I looked to Sean, who shrugged. “Yeah… but is this gum or candy?” The man squinted, and then he squealed, “Big Mac!” I shrugged, handed over the 12 Baht and swallowed the mysterious candy hoping it wasn’t gum.

15. Cool…. a mini green bean. Oh wait, nope! That would be the world’s meanest Indonesian green pepper. Who needs feeling in their tongue anyway?

16. What old lady? You think you have to pee more than I do? I don’t think so. I’ve been holding it the whole bus ride. If you try and shove your way into the stall before me, I’ll take you out. You and all your cronies who cut in line and steal my hole in the ground.

17. White, hairy legs everywhere. You Germans are insufferable. Why do you insist on walking around our ten-bunk hostel in your man panties? Do you really have to watch the Chainsaw Massacre two feet away from my head at 2 a.m?

18. Is this actually right: I have to take a bus to the Singapore causeway, go up an escalator, get my passport stamped, go down an escalator, wait for another bus to drive me one minute across the bridge, get off at the Malaysian causeway, go up an escalator, get my passport stamped, and then go down the escalator and wait for another bus to take me another minute to the bus station?! Yeah, that’s right? Man, Singapore & Malaysia, what were you two thinking when you came up with that ridiculous plan?

19. Are you really surprised no one wants to buy spicy chicken wings on the ferry that’s rocking and rolling when half your passengers are barfing and you're blaring Bob Saget & AFV?

20. "Welcome to Cambodia. You buy visa for $50 USD here." Um, do you actually expect me to believe that the shack on the side of the road is the official Cambodian office for obtaining visas? Sorry pal, drop me off at the real border and I'll pay $20 USD for my visa.

Travel Tuesday


  1. Jeez, this overland journey sounds like a terrible experience! But your bloopers are super hilarious, so at least something good came from it! :)

  2. I just love that despite it all you have a bloopers post about seeing the positive too. x