We should have known something was amiss, the night before we had asked about buses for Penang. The ticket man said the bus went at 9:30, so we rose early, eat at McDonald’s and hung out using their wifi. When we saw our ticket man again, he told us the bus went at 11! I reminded him of the 9:30 bus and pointed to the sign,he reached around the window amid tore it down. So we waited and waited…we talked with a language teacher from Portugal. Eleven came and went. Met a couple from Germany who asked us about the bus. Still nothing. Our bus was supposed to go straight through, suddenly the bus appeared and we began to take on passengers for Kuala Lumpur . The Germans got upset but what choice did we have. It was a seven hour ride.
When the bus finally got onto the highway it rolled like a leaky vessel in a high sea, listing so badly we could see the pavement. We endured until hit with a severe rain storm. Water poured In above the German woman, Doris, soaking her right side, she moved. We stopped for a 20 minute bathroom break, nothing but squatting Arab toilets, unpleasant with smells and stray cats. 4o minuted later we moved out, this time with some strange passengers. The driver, a pot bellied man with few teeth, had kicked off several more legitimate looking passengers, not us, but he informed us he was no longer going to Georgetown where our hotel was, he was dropping us another place on the huge island. What to do? Then he lay down, covered himself with a cloth and began to snore. Another man drove. By 5 pm Doris had moved seats yet again and was protecting herself with plastic bags fastened with bandages from the steady drip.
The temple was in a town called Ipoh.
We finally reached Penang at night. The Germans melted into the darkness. Tom bought tickets for Thailand the next day from a sketchy company. Our Thai friend feels we will get into trouble near the border but I think we already escaped something . Our hotel in Penang was huge, beautiful. We booked on line and were upgraded to a huge suite with foyer, kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, bath and walk in closet like you see in the movies. We also had full breakfast. Going to leave before they find out we aren’t the Tom Harley’s they think we are !