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20 November 2011 / leggypeggy

A hot, steamy and kinky night in Indonesia

Sardines in the can—looking cheerful at the start of the trip. That flash of red in the aisle is the motorbike.

Oh wow! What a night we had earlier this week. It will stay in my mind forever as a true sign of all that an overland journey can be. Of course you must keep in mind that the overland creed dictates that what happens on a trip, stays on the trip, but in this case I really must share. It was that memorable.

So how hot was it? The sweat poured off us for hours. I could be ladylike and call it perspiration, but it was sweat and lots of it. But that happens when you are engaged in a contact sport.

So how steamy was it? For starters, the windows fogged up almost immediately and stayed that way for the rest of the night. But that happens when there’s an excess of heavy breathing.

So how kinky was it? You can’t imagine. Poor John was on my left and some other guy was on my right. I never learned his name, but heck it was only one night. And the number of different positions we tried—most were awkward and all were challenging. But that happens when you’re trying to be a contortionist.

So what are you thinking?

All of you, get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about the fact that 40+ of us were packed like sardines into a bus meant for a lot fewer people and a lot less baggage.

We were travelling from Batam Island to Padang in Indonesia, and this unexpected bus journey arose because the ferry we were supposed to take from Batam to Jakarta was broken.

We were trundled into the ‘torture chamber’ about 7:30 at night. We were supposed to board earlier, but it took ages to cram in all the luggage—and a shiny red motorcycle. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the motorcycle wasn’t strapped to the roof, which would have been the approach in Africa.

But the bike was planted in front of Johnny (our other John) and Megan, who were planted just in front of us. As we boarded, the bike owner came back to proudly inform us of his purchase and, I suppose, we could have been more gracious in our responses.

Poor John and I were last to board and, not surprisingly, scored the worst seats in the bus—right behind Johnny and Megan. They weren’t the problem! Because of the bike, their seats seemed to be moved back about six inches and we lost all our legroom, so our knees were wedged against the back of their seats. Not fun for us, or them either.

Cramming in the bags.

If you check the main photo, you’ll see that Lu, Sarah, Poor John and I were together in the back row. That would have been fine until two more Indonesians boarded and were told to join us in the cheap seats. That’s when the big squeeze began. In the end, one of the fellows draped himself over the motorbike. He slept, or pretended to sleep, most of the night draped over the bike seat like a lion in a tree in Africa.

Not many of the rest of us slept. The bus—touted as Executive Class—boasted, in big letters on the side of the bus, that it had Full Music. Spare me. The Full Music was all in Indonesian and delivered at Full Blast. When they finally turned off the sound about 4 a.m., the fellow sitting next to me filled the gap of silence by turning on his phone, FULL BLAST, so the music never stopped for a moment.

Martin quite rightly points out that not one vehicle has any tread on the tyres, but they have every sound system element imaginable—woofers, subwoofers, graphic equalisers, bass bins (which put the oomph through you) and tops (which deafen you). Be nice if they bloody well bought decent tyres.

In addition to Full Music (and now we understand the meaning of Full), the bus claimed to have air conditioning (provided by windows, some completely missing and others permanently open) and reclining seats that wouldn’t budge.

This memorable trip lasted for 14 hours, and it will probably take me 14 days to work out all the kinks I gained that night.

P.S. Twenty-four hours later we boarded a Super Executive Class bus for another longer, memorable journey. Stay tuned.

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Sy S. / Nov 21 2011 1:29 pm

    LP,

    Nice shiny red bike, happy smiling people… and pea green upholstery… what more can you ask for…. a potty toilet inside? If it were me traveling on this bus, I would have asked that they strap me to the outside roof of the bus LOL Wow!

    Sy S.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Nov 22 2011 1:37 am

      Strapped to the roof! Absolutely the best option. 🙂

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. On the road again—in a different bus « Where to next?
  2. The view from the front seat of the bus « Where to next?

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