Monday, March 24, 2008

(Mis)Adventures in KL

Got back to Singapore at 10am on Monday morning. 8 hours overdue. Sans bus tickets. and picked up a bump on my left temple and my partner a busted knee.

Anyways, this is what happened.

Was in KL for the investors and traders convention cos my partner wanted to check out the KL market and the potential over there.

It was a decent trip. And the dramatics started when we were coming back to Singapore.

Act 1, Scene 1 - The bus station at Pudu Raya, 9pm. Sunday Night.

My partner has bought 2 tickets on a delux coach back to Singapore from the Konsortium counter on Saturday afternooon. We wait, at Dock 12 for the bus to come. Among those waiting, are a few indians, a bunch of Secondary school students and a swedish couple.

Act 1, Scene 2 - The bus station at Pudu Raya, 9:15pm. Sunday Night.

A guy comes over and shouts, "Singapore" and a whole bunch of people stand up. Thinking our bus here, we follow the dude downstairs to the bus bay. Bus is not here, we wait for a bit. He then beckons us to follow him. I am completely uninitiated to KL.

My partner says that it's normal since sometimes the bus stops outside instead of coming in. We follow.

Act 1, Scene 3 - Outside the Bus Station, 930pm. Sunday Night.

The guy leads us for 10 minutes before sitting down and tells everyone to pass their tickets to him. He makes a show of checking, then puts everything in his bag. He then gets up and tells us to carry on walking.

Act 2, Scene 1 - Near the beat up bus, 9:30pm, Sunday Night.

We finally reach a shitty bus. A beat up 40 seater. He says that this is our bus that'll be going back to Singapore. My partner demands our tickets back. The guy attempts to walk away.

We chase after him, with all our luggage still in our arms, he threatens us with his walkie talkie, and walks again. We go after him and attempt to stop him. He swings his walkie talkie and my partner chokes him from the back. He takes another swing and I lock his arm.

We told him that we'll let him go if he gives us our tickets back. We let him go, and he takes a swipe at my partner, and breaks into a run. My partner kicks, misses, and falls. His luggage flies.

I run after him, pins him and takes a couple of swipes at him. "Give us our tickets back," he doesn't and whacks my head with his walkie talkie. Twice. I try to throw him to the ground and sit on him. He runs.

Contemplated running after him, but there are people around my partner, and I got worried. Went back and he busted his knee. I help him up and gathered all our luggage back.

Act 2, Scene 2. Near the beat up bus, 10:30pm, Sunday Night.

The bus driver refuses to move because apparently, dodgy muther-fucker was suppose to pay him, and he's not paying yet.

Another half hour, dodgy mutherfucker comes back with another load of people. They get up the bus, and there's still some space in the bus... but with me glaring at him, he must have decided that better get this group of people outta here.

He pays the bus driver and buggers off. Contemplated jumping off the bus to beat the fuck outta him before he heads off. Decides against it because dunno if I'll miss the bus after.

Act 3, Scene 1. 2 hours outside KL. Unknown Rest stop, 1am. Monday Morning

Dodgy bus breaks down, and can't start again. Everyone waits while the driver calls a replacement.

Act 3, Scene 2. 2 hours outside KL. Unknown Rest stop, 3am. Monday Morning.

We are still waiting. Some people have hitched rides on gas trailers and container trucks. We see an empty bus coming by, and Indian dudes approach to negotiate. I am in awe of his negotiation tactics. I take notes even though I am sleep deprived.

Act 3, Scene 3. In the hitched-a-ride bus. 4am. Monday Morning.

We finally get on our way. With us, are the 4 kids, one of the Indian dudes, and a whole bunch of other people, including this really young kid travelling on his own.

Act 4, Scene 1. Larkin Bus Interchange. 7am. Monday Morning.

Reached Larkin, courtesy of the Indian dude. Helped my partner down the steps and into a cab. We take the cab to a place where there's a Comfort cab waiting, in the basement carpark of Plaza Seni.

Apparently this taxi stand has Singapore cabs that can cross the border.

We pay an extra S$35. Worth it, because we were stuck one and a half hours on the Malaysia side of the Causeway, and another half hour on the Singapore side.

And the fare goes all the way to my partner's place. No idea which way the cab driver went, cos I pretty fucking much concussed on the cab.

Act 4, Scene 2. My partner's place. Singapore. 10am, Monday morning

Dropped my partner off, helped him up to his place before driving back. He will go to hospital later on in the day.

Headed home, bathed and went to work.

Lessons Learnt:
1. Only give the bloody ticket to the bloody conductor, AFTER you get on the bus and are seated. (Thanks Jean!)

2. Don't let the dodgy motherfucker go. Beat the SHIT outta him. Then take the money and the tix from him. He rips us off. We mug him. Turnabout's a bitch.

3. It's always good to be on the SAME side as an Indian in negotiation. If you are not, make sure you are.

4. Keep fit. You never know when you have to beat the shit outta somebody.


precious said...

Oh my goodness! I know exactly which dodgy bus you're talking about.

I usually get my tix from reputable bus companies, but there was one time during a festival, all the tix were sold out so I had no choice but to buy from the dodgy guy and take the dodgy bus that's about 15 minutes walk away from the bus station.

I did manage to arrive in Sg, but later, another friend took the same dodgy bus but got caught halfway by the police cause the bus is operating without a license.

All the passengers had to go to the police station for questioning and after a few hours there, they had to cab to the nearest bus station and take the bus from there to Singapore.

Don't take the dodgy bus!!
So sorry to hear of your experience. *hug*

Jason Ho said...

oooooooooooooooooh...its you!! I read about it in some blog..think its Precious' one..

Was thinking..aye..poor little bastard..didn't know what hit him (cept the walkie talkie part).

Aye..if it here me instead of your partner..I would gotten up and beat the crap out of him and taken his money too man..that and some souvenir scars...heck..since we are at it I would have taken his clothes too..and tie him to a pole with a sign to shame him...and call the media..wahah..lots to do..lots to do.

anyhoo..good to know you are alive and well man..

Vandalin said...

precious - lesson learnt. buy from legit companies, and give to legit people.

jason - we're gonna be the new superheroes of KL. by day, we are tourists. by night, we hunt down bus ticket cheats and stake them out to dry.

The Bimbo said...

OMG.... I would die if I were in your place! I'm so glad you survived at least...

Vandalin said...

Yup. Next time we go back, I'm looking out for him.

Got a couple of tricks I just learnt that needs a human test target.