Sunday, 3 April 2011

A stowaway on board the coach - one tourist too many

   The exaltation of the Management Science students from Bangalore could be clearly seen here

I am always concerned with my duty to assure all passengers are accounted for when they came on board after each stop at souvenir centres, photo stops, places of interest at the city’s landmarks etc. It there were someones being left behind, it could spell trouble for me and the coach captain; of course in such case I would always get the blame. What if I had more passengers than the name list stated?

A memorable visit to the famous Twin Towers of KL City for this family

There was once I picked up 39 Indian tourists from KLIA and after a head count by their tour leader, an Indian lady, they boarded the bus as the driver was busy loading their traveling bags into the coach luggage compartments. Just when the bus was about to move, I counted once again and the figure was then 40. The tour bus was designed and permitted by public licensing board to carry a maximum load of 42 passengers, including the coach captain and the tour guide. I saw that all seats were occupied with excited tourists who chatted happily despite being tired after flying for 5 hrs. There should be an empty seat yet I saw all seats were occupied.  Anyway since everyone was accounted for and confirmed by their tour leader lady the coach left the airport to begin our tour of the country.  As I was introducing our country to the Indian tourists I found that most of them were already napping or showed signs of disinterest, I therefore summed up quickly my initial speech and let them doze off. Just then I noticed one particular queer person amongst the group as he kept smiling and nodded about everything I said. He wore a pair of sun glasses in the tour coach and when I spoke to him in English about the weather he was still smiling and nodding his head; that was a tell-tale sign that he might not know what I was talking about.

 The Bangalore Student Group had a good time at Genting Highland

It was about in the morning when we reached Putrajaya for a short tour since their rooms at Hotel Grand Seasons, Kuala Lumpur would not be ready until after 12noon. Whilst everybody alighted from the tour coach this smiling chap with a pair of sunglasses patted my shoulder and spoke to me in Bahasa Indonesia. I was utterly surprised that there was an Indonesian speaking tourist among the Indians! He told me that he needed his luggage out from the bus’s baggage compartment and he wanted me to hail a taxi for him. My driver was furious because he got to remove many heavy bags before reaching the stowaway’s and thence place the baggage in again. We questioned him how did he end up in our coach? This guy was an Indonesian who upon landing wanted a ride to Kuala Lumpur city on board a coach. When he saw my group of tourists leaving their baggage next to the bus and boarded, he did the same. Unable to conceal his madness and disgust, my faithful driver threw the Indonesia stowaway’s bags to him and cursed loudly.  That was the first time I heard a fellow Malaysian of Malay descendant calling an Indonesian Balik kampung! “ I had a good time laughing the rest of the day at the same time I was disgruntled with myself for allowing such incident to happen.

  A happy tourist from New Delhi and I

Alan CY Kok


  1. so that's how people can get free rides! pls write more stories about ur adventures at work! really enjoy reading them! :)

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