While travelling in Greece several years ago, my companion and I were not surprised when the bus to Epidaurus left 45 minutes later than its scheduled departure time. We shrugged, accepted it as part of a Greek holiday, and counted our blessings that we’d found a shady spot to wait in. We were, however, somewhat blindsided when we turned up 7 minutes or so early for the return bus and found that it had already left, with the next bus due in about two and a half hours. We passed the time easily enough with other stranded backpackers, but I’ve never forgotten the laughable unpredictability of that particular travel glitch. Bloody Greeks.
Anyway, since a Greek bus leaving early is about as unheard of as a Parisian pavement without dog poo, I always dismissed it as a one-off, the sort of anecdote you throw into a conversation about travel stories when it reaches the point at which you revel, cackling, in the various national stereotypes your cosmopolitan jet-setting has only served to confirm.
Until we arrived at Senai Airport two weeks ago only to discover that the AirAsia flight described on our tickets as leaving at 1630 was, in fact, now leaving at 1545. We had received absolutely no notification of the change. But by a stroke of pure luck, we’d arrived in the last few minutes before the check-in counters closed, and made the flight.
Amusingly, the only reason we had even arrived as early as 1500 for what we thought was a 1630 internal flight was that the airport coach schedule from Senai Airport’s City Lounge was also markedly different from the coach schedule its website promised. So, having found that the 1440 coach no longer existed, we’d decided to take a cab rather than chance the 1500 coach. If not for that, we’d have been roundly fucked, first by the Senai City Lounge and then by AirAsia. Bloody Malaysia.
(There isn’t much more to write about the first day of the trip once we got to Kuching, apart from mentioning the great Teochew steamed fish dinner we had at ABC Seafood and the beginning of a dramatic shoe disintegration process that finally culminated in their utter surrender while trekking in Bako National Park two days later. I mostly just wanted to warn anyone reading this to be careful when flying AirAsia from Senai.)