A Sort Of Homecoming.

I’m beginning to loathe where I live. Like, really detest it. For those that are interested, I’ll share the most current of the ever increasing stockpile of reasons.

Were-sharks. Definitely on the list.
Were-sharks. Definitely on the list.

As I’m sure most of you (my faithful readers) are aware, I attempt to spend as much time as humanly possible in Bali.

Through some oversight in the responsibility = reward spectrum I’ve managed to spend an inordinate amount of time in a tropical wonderland drinking cheap beer, meeting fantastic people and getting into wacky adventures.

A 5th of the last 2 and a half years to be kinda precise.

For those of you that have never been to this tiny island paradise it is filled with beautiful, smiling, helpful, warm, kind people that will happily go out of their way to make sure you’re enjoying yourself. Balinese people take you into their hearts and nothing is ever too much trouble.

For those of you that have been, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Tidak apa apa!
Tidak apa apa!

Now contrast that with this.

Honest to god, after spending 3 weeks in Bali I had been back in my home town less than 60 seconds, as long as it takes to walk from a train to a shuttle bus, when this happens…

I arrive at the local train station carrying a backpack full of clothes and my laptop. I’m sweaty, I’m tired, I smell bad and I’ve just spent the last 6 hours shivering away in an abnormally cold plane. I make my way towards the “Goldrush Express.”
A free (provided you have a valid train ticket, which I did) shuttle bus service that runs directly from the train station to a local tourist attraction.

Which just so happens to be incredibly close to where I live.

“Excuse me; this is the shuttle bus yeah?”  I ask the driver, who was smoking not too far away.
“Yep,” was the guttural, monosyllabic response from the smoking, moustached man with an unnecessary amount of shirt buttons open.
“Cool man, thanks” I reply, slightly bowing my head in appreciation.

I begin walking toward the bus when the driver abruptly declares “YOU’RE NOT GETTING ON THE BUS WITH THAT!” at a completely unnecessary volume.
I look myself over for the heinously offending item that provoked such an outburst.

He was referring to the two sushi rolls entombed in plastic and an air-tight/spill-proof bowl of miso soup that I was carrying.

Equal parts dazed and baffled by this sudden explosion I ask “Why?”
My usual response when I’m told I can’t do something.
The bus driver venomously spits out: “Ugh. Because if you get it everywhere who do you think has to clean it up? Me. So you’re not bringing that food onto this bus.”

I stifle the obvious question – Who eats soup on a bus?

Still foolishly believing I’m dealing with a mature, rational person I innocently ask “I’m not planning on eating anything on the bus, so… what if I don’t make a mess? Or what if I clean up after myself if I do?”

Worst case scenario.
Worst case scenario.

Before I can finish speaking the bus driver interrupts, obviously unable to contain his rage at such outrageously reasonable questions, and says, and I quote, THAT’S IT! YOU’RE NOT GETTING ON THIS BLOODY BUS! GO CATCH A BLOODY CITY BUS!

Completely blown away by this outburst I ask if he is for real.

To which he replies “You bet I am sunshine. You’re not getting on this bus. There’s the City stop (he gesticulates furiously at the City bus stop 10 meters away) right there. Enjoy the rest of your day mate”

I have no words.

Until I do.

“Welcome home!”
I proclaim loudly to no one in particular, while I look towards the sky with my arms outstretched in an attempt to invoke the God of Sanity. “Back in town less than two minutes and already having to deal with upstart assclowns like this!”
I turn my attention back to the bus driver and proclaim vehemently “Fantastic customer service you goddamn douche-canoe!!”

Not my proudest moment, but goddamn…

This sparked a somewhat heated exchange that I’m not going to repeat here. That said, someone called someone a smartass dickhead, someone called someone a provincial, redneck hick on a pathetic powertrip and stated in no uncertain terms that he could shove his shuttle bus up his ass.

I’ll let you guess who said what.

This incident is Reason #6,721 why the town I live in is a diabolical mire of depression and rage.

With were-sharks coming a close #6,723.

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