The scene was achingly familiar: graceful rubber trees somewhere, the tunnel, extensive palm oil plantations… and that’s just what I can remember, after Puduraya (now Pudu Sentral). Spanning the length of Malaysia to its north and south neighboring countries with good and efficient road network. And I was trying to grasp from memory the scenes that flashed before me.
I have been to this major highway twelve years ago on a trip in transit from Bangkok to Singapore. After two weeks of training in Thailand, I only got one week to get out via Singapore and back to Manila. From Hat Yai, I took a bus for Ipoh and being a novice traveler, it was my first time to encounter a strict border mama at Bukit Kayu Hitam asking questions that will make the weak cry.
Now, I’m back to this major artery, the other way around, in transit from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar in Kedah and as the scene passed before me, I can only look and try to remember. But alas, nothing.
I was lost.
While the tropical scene was familiar, it was another place, another scene. Another country. Where the outline of the mountains just doesn’t match. The eaves of houses just have a certain unfamiliar curve. And whenever you look around the bus, everyone’s a stranger, everyone’s speaking another language.
But despite this, the anonymity is bliss and there’s always that comfort that I will always arrive safely in my destination.