It happened, it actually happened.
The bus driver forgot about me.
(Fortunately I was already on the bus.)
I was taking the bus from Cherating to Kuala Terengganu…and apparently I was the only one with that stop, because I didn’t hear anyone else complaining that we had missed their stop. Not that I was complaining either, but that’s because I didn’t really know what was going on. It probably didn’t help that I popped my headphones in, pushed play on my ipod and within minutes of departing had already passed out. I woke up a few hours later, about the time I would normally have reached my destination, and looked around. We were inching slowly along in traffic; I sat up and began to pay attention. We passed one small town that was just south of Kuala Terengganu so I knew I hadn’t missed it. I relaxed and watched the countryside zip past and that’s when I saw it. “K Terengganu –>“ flashed at me through the window pane as we barreled along in the opposite direction.….wait we passed it? Well, shit. I didn’t really know what to do. Should I stand up and declare my missed stop? Quietly approach the bus driver and alert him to his error? I did neither of these things. Instead I sighed and shrugged before dropping back off to sleep, only to wake up a couple hours and 80 kilometers later in Kota Bharu.
As I disembarked in the bus driver looked at me and asked, “Kota Bharu?” In the dim glow of the bus lights I saw a flash of realization in his eyes and I thought I was busted; I kind of liked the idea of only paying for half the trip. The moment soon passed and I responded with a hesitant “yyyyyyeeeesssss…?” before hopping off quickly. Success! But now I was unexpectedly in some strange place called Kota Bharu. Fortunately I found a cheap hostel right around the corner and I have spent the last couple of days wandering this city sooner than I had planned to. It’s not that exciting of a city, and I have realized that Ramadan turns beach towns into ghost towns.
I came this realization as I went off to explore PCB, a small beach town about 9km out of KB. The bus dropped me off on an empty stretch of road near the crashing waves, the only signs of life being one massive digger working its way into the ground and a couple goats standing on the tables of empty shacks and cafés. On the bright side, the beach was empty! Or maybe that wasn’t such a good thing since I ended up being followed onto and off the beach and I am 90% sure I watched the beginning of a porno before throwing the guy’s arm who was showing it to me on his phone off of my thigh and storming off. It was a bit of a creepy situation. (Ok it was a really creepy situation). Thankfully the bus arrived literally as I reached the bus stop and I was in and out of that town in a grand total of about 20 minutes. (And Mom no freaking out without hearing the whole story. Remember that.)
Lessons learned: bus drivers won’t always remember your stop ,and no going to beaches alone during Ramadan because you will really, truly be alone. (Plus maybe a perv or two. And that’s not cool.)
Tomorrow…it’s off to the jungle!