Finally the long distance express bus station is moved from Padang Merdeka area to Inanam. Now we got three bus stations. If you want to go to Kudat, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu… take the bus at Inanam Bus Terminal. If you want to go to Beaufort, Ranau, Tenom, Keningau… take the bus at Padang Merdeka. If you want to go to Sipitang, Kuala Penyu, Menumbok… take the bus near Wawasan Plaza. Even KK people are also very confused. You tell me lah, how many of you really know?
Last week I went to Inanam Bus Terminal to buy the bus ticket to Lahad Datu, one day earlier. Once I walked in, there was a bunch of people ran to me like hungry flies. No, I am not kidding. They really acted like flies. They pulled my shirt and hands, trying to sell bus ticket to me. SHIT!!! (yeah, I look like shit to these flies) I was deeply annoyed and tried to get their sticky hands off me coz I really hated stranger touched me. If that was not a terminal, I would think they wanted to rob me.
The next day when I got on the bus to Lahad Datu, I found that my seat was taken by someone else, who also held a valid ticket with the same seat number. Their staff confirmed that it was a double booking error, so they got another seat number for me. I already read from the newspaper that many people complained the new bus terminal booking system was error-prone and always double-book. Sigh… seem like they still haven’t put thing in order yet.
Below is the pricing info about the one-way bus ticket if you are interested:
(Subject to Change)
Kota Belud RM7.00
Kota Marudu RM13.00
Lahad Datu RM40.00
I remember the bus ticket to Sandakan was RM25 in July 2005. Now it is RM33.50, an increase of more than 30% in less than a year, scary… Seem like our money is shrinking faster than we think…
Why Me Again?
Let’s talk a bit about my trip to Lahad Datu. It took the bus, in Kota Kinabalu, about 6.5 hours to reach Lahad Datu. Before I went there, all my family members kept on warning me that Lahad Datu was not safe at night. I always dressed like a beggar when I travel, so I was not quite worried. There were two police checkpoints on the way. When the police got on the bus to check our I/C, I was so surprised to see that I seemed like the only one who was holding a MyKad. The rest are using IMM13, foreigner passports, and other identity documents. Gee… I looked more like an Illegal Immigrant among them.
After I visited the Cultural Carnival and Tabin Wildlife, I bought the bus ticket back to Kota Kinabalu, one day earlier. The bus schedule is very funny one, only departs at 8 AM or 9 PM something. There is no bus departs in the afternoon. When I ordered the ticket at the counter, I saw the staff used the pen to write, mark and make changes on a piece of “seat-tracking” paper. Then he called someone a few times to confirm the seat availability. My gut feeling immediately told me that this manual tracking system was messy and error-prone. So I asked him again to confirm if I really could get a seat. He said yes. Well, what happened in the following day proved me right.
The next day I was ready to leave Lahad Datu in the afternoon. But my bus departed at 9:30 PM, so I just sat in the 24-hour AJ Cafe at Fajar to wait. When I was sitting in the cafe, I heard a lady screamed and a few men ran to chase something. It happened so fast, so I had no idea what was going on. Later I knew that she got snatched under daylight. The robber escaped and she sat there crying… Sorry ah, I am not trying to talk bad about Lahad Datu. This is what people say and what I see ok.
Finally, after hours of waiting, I caught the bus at 9:30 PM. When I sat down, another passengers holding a ticket and said I took his seat. AIYA!!! WHY LIKE THIS AGAIN OH!!! I WAS REALLY FUCKING TIRED AND WANTED TO GO HOME ASAP. WHY THESE PEOPLE ALWAYS GAVE ME THE SAME SHIT OH!!!!!!! REALLY PISSED OFF!!! I demanded an explanation from the bus conductor. He was showing me another damn piece of seat tracking paper and told me that my ticket was valid but the serial number did not match his record. WHAT THE FUCK!!! Who care about your serial number thing? I am not working in your company. Obviously it was the double booking problem again. They tried to explain their tracking error caused by my early booking. I only told them (decide to act ignorant), “I don’t care about your serial number thing. It is your fault, not mine. I only know that I have bought and paid for the ticket. Now just get me a seat and send me back to KK!!!” Then their counter staff, bus conductor and bus driver walked to side and had hot argument over the mess-up, while other passengers were waiting on the bus. I recorded part of it. Click Here if you want to hear. I don’t know how they did it. They managed to get me a seat at last.
I have traveled with Express Buses so many times and never had such problem. Hard to believe that it happened twice to me in a trip. That really sucks. Well, somehow I think this problem is related to the new booking system imposed by the new bus terminal. Hopefully they can resolve the issue ASAP.