Friday, August 5, 2016

The Mishaps of July 19, 2016

After staying more than 3 weeks in Sumenep, Madura, I decided to move on and take the previously planned Sulawesi route. This is the best time to do it, no matter if the time is not enough to see a big portion of Sulawesi.

I left Sumenep at 1pm, tuesday, last day of the ferry schedule before it goes on a 3-day break. It was supposed to take about 4 hours to the junction after the Saramadu Bridge, but because it would have been rush hour upon arriving, that took another 1.5 hours, effectively arriving at the Tanjung Perak port at nearly 7pm.

Friend from Makassar have told me to head straight onto the ticket agencies in tanjung perak and if none available, look for the calo (touters).

Indeed there was no more ticket, and the salesguys would easily offer the 4days after trip (as if 4 days is nothing) saying this is the next one available. One office, I have asked about where I can find calo, and he said, sit down and i'll look for one, but he said it will be for the day after (and not PELNI but another private company).

I decided to walk outside and try other Calo's. None has tickets for that day.

Seemingly pointless, I decided to walk back into the passenger waiting area and see what is going in there.

There were several people (papua indonesia origins) with baggages apparently looking for the same thing as I am around 1 guy talking to them while on the phone too. This guy is offering tickets (same day) to Makassar for 1.5 times the price of the original. Then, I told him i'll get one too, while I excused myself that I'll quickly run to the ATM to get more money. I rushed to get back.

When I got back, he had only 2 tickets, and effectively sold them to the first 2 he spoke with. There were about 6 of us left. The Papuan guys were trying to talk to the security personnel, but to no avail. It was about 8:20 when I heard the honking ship, signalling it is ready to depart, while my imagination is saying "HAHA! We are leavingg. try your luck next time.
It's really impossible now. The boat has left.

I sat down the grass, lit up a cigarette. Then, I thought, Sulawesi might not just be for me right now. I looked up the ticket prices and nothing changed... still 3x their normal price for this week.

I then thought about spending my time in Bali instead since I was planning to cut a trip there to buy my board. I was also considering Malang, but it would have been very late by the time I arrive. The city is also on hills, and I don't want to experience the same as the trip to Bogor where I was caught off by the extremely cold weather at 6pm, still nowhere to sleep, and freezing.

So, I walked out the port and waited for the Bus to Bungurasih. The guys around said the bus would only cost 7,000 while the Angkots will be asking around 80K.

It took an hour to get that bus and surprisingly, the collector asked for 15K saying we will head straight to bungurasih. That trip took 45 mins...

In Bungurasih, I headed straight into the lane for Bali. There was no more bus. There was a guy asking for 250K to Bali (which otherwise is normally 120K). Apart from the price hike, later, I found it it was actually a trip to Probolingo, and then from Probolingo, I will be waiting and taking another Bus ride to Bali. There were still buses to Banyuwanggi for 54K (ekonomi) but the problem is, from the bus station to the port is another problem, then the crossing, then from port forward.

I needed to rest. My baggage is a little overweight. I looked on Traveloka to see if I can still get a cheap accomodation in Malang for the night. I thought it was more practical spending the night there rather than going back to the city.

Indeed, there is still a hostel listed. I booked it, and when it came to the payment page, I realized, I am missing my ATM card. Instantly, I knew I would have forgotten it again in the machine whilst rushing to get back to Calo.

I have only a few minutes left to get that booking. I contacted friends online on FB messenger, and thankfully, sister is still up. So i got that booking and took the bus. Even the Calo's in the surabaya bus station were kind of confused why suddenly I am going to Malang.

It took about 2 hours to reach Malang, and along the way, I reviewed my booking to figure out where the hostel is and how far away it is from the bus station. As I was looking at the details, I saw the call hotel link with their number on it. I decided to send them a message to inform them of my late arrival. The reply though was... We are Full.

In a little while, we reached the bus station. There is no hotel. I walked onto a Waroeng and asked a bapa if he knows any inn around. He said, the inns are a bit far, but shall I be ok with Kos (student accomodation), he can give an acquaintance a call so they can pick me up. I asked how much, and he said, 75K.

I was imagining the look of the Kos, and for just a few more hours, it was probably not practical to spend that. Also, it was not really as cold as I thought it was.

Instead, I asked Bapak if it was ok to stay in the carpet he laid on the ground for dine in customers. He said it was fine. I took out my phone for entertainment and got into the email confirmation from Traveloka. I decided to send a quick reply about the notice I received from the hostel, I they can process a refund.

A few minutes later, they called up and told me they were trying to reach the hostel, but none is picking up. They asked me instead to look for book any hotel instead, and they will be refunding the cost of the stay. I was a little bit wary of the offer, and asked, is there a cap on the rate? I told them, I don't really mind just waiting in the bus station for a few more hours, but if there is this offer, I can look somewhere nearby, though if it would be very expensive, I probably will not. They said, no cap. I can book any.

I asked Bapak if there is any walkable hotel around and he said there is one in about 250m distance. I walked towards it and again, I saw one of the Papuan guys. In fact, from the port, I met them in the bus station again. I asked him if somebody is out to pick him up, and he said Yes, though he is not sure if the guy can come that late night, or probably will have to wait until the morning.

I told him he can share the room with me for free, but just like most papuans I met, they were very shy and timid.

I walked ahead and thankfully, the hotel is open. They have a cheaper 170K room.

The next day, as instructed, i sent the invoice to Traveloka and instantly received the refund to my account, along with a discount voucher with the amount of my transaction, for future use :-).

Thankfully, I finally got some rest for myself though probably because  of that i was so tired, had a few coffee so far, could not directly just land to REM sleep. Anyhow, that traveloka deal was way better than waiting in the bus station.

Next day, a motorcycle hit me in the pedestrian lane. Was not hurt except for the thumb that was pressed hard onto the motorcycle. But... the next day, I just decided to stay put within meters distance from the bed so I can put myself back up altogether.

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