Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happiness is .....(26)


The comfortable seats in the bus.

Perhaps readers might beg to differ with my choice of transport whenever I visit my relatives in Penang. Some might even be puzzled as to why I prefer taking the bus and travelling for 10 hours through the night and early hours of the day when I could fly instead either by budget airlines or by Malaysian Airline System or the ever popular SIA.

Happiness to me is enjoying my trip home by bus with 16 seaters. The seats are so spacious and make me feel slimmer than I really am, as opposed to those smaller seats in the planes.! Somehow, the narrow seats and aisle in the planes make me feel somewhat gargantuan! I remember once I was in the MAS plane, and the Caucasian man seated behind me had such long legs that he literally pushed my backrest forward. I had to sit in a hunched position throughout the 105 minutes journey. !! As the plane was full and it was only a short journey, I did not want to make life difficult for the serving crew.

Although budget airlines are more economical, they are not very reliable. Sometimes the flights are delayed or postponed and passengers may or may not be informed on time. My best friend, Soh Wah, has a good point when she said she is worried about the maintenance of the budget planes. With so much cost cutting, will safety of the aircrafts be as good and trustworthy?

Thank God for short legs for I am able to snuggle quite comfortably in my seat. Once we pass through the Johore Immigration, I will start to watch the program on the screen in front of me. Often before the program is completed, I would have dozed off in deep slumber! Even when the bus stops for toilet or coffee breaks, I would continue sleeping till we reach our destination. I kill two birds with one stone, sleeping and travelling at the same time.

To enable me to sleep soundly, I would often try to have only four hours sleep the night before, so that I would be really exhausted and hence can sleep soundly throughout the journey. I would also fast more food and drinks after 3p.m. on the day of travel. I would only sip a little water from my bottle. However, when I return to Singapore, I would have dinner with my relatives so as to make them happy. I am glad that the Malaysian government has improved the condition of the toilets now.

Of course we have heard of drivers who doze off while driving, hence jeopardizing the lives of their passengers. I would always pray before the start of the journey, asking God to protect the bus drivers and passengers. I am glad that the government is now looking into the operation of bus companies to ensure better training and working conditions for the drivers. Due to the low pay, some of the drivers try to work overtime so as to earn more and hence are more accident prone.

Of course, it will be just great to fly by SIA, but the amount I could save by travelling on the bus would enable me to buy lots of presents for my relatives and friends in Penang. Happiness is when I am able to give rather than receive.

Happiness is travelling alone with time to ponder and analyse. Happiness is just being quiet and basking in my own thoughts with peace and serenity. Happiness is being grateful that I can travel in a comfortable bus as compared to the jam-packed buses and trains we see in Nepal, India and other third world countries.

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