Monday, April 21, 2008

Scenes - Sarikei Borneo Bus. Part 2

Sarikei Bus Station Hawker stalls, Feb 2007.
Find the Hawker centre at end of alley.

Going on a bus journey and have lots of time to spare before the bus driver stepped on the gas pedal? Well, you can pop by the small alley between the 2 rows of small shops that connects the bus station to a hawker centre that serves food on the first floor.

Sarikei Bus Station Hawker stalls, Oct 2007

You can buy the usual hawker stuff here - fake sunglasses, watches, belts with overpowering leather smell, rings and all the trinkets that you could ever wear. I think I saw a Malay man selling gambir - a local tree bark that is pounded into powder and mixed with water to produce numbing properties for toothache and other unmentionable usages for men.

Sarikei Borneo Bus at Bank Road, 2007.
Bus 24 to Kabong Beach.

Then you walk gingerly on the diesel covered floor and look for your bus number which is a piece of make shift cardboard. Every now and then, an unpleasant dose of exhaust fumes from nearby buses force its way into your nostrils. Ok, found the bus.

Sarikei Borneo Bus at Bank Road, 2007.
Find the dustbin. Does it move during the journey?

I climbed onto the Hino bus that serves the rural areas to have a look as I have not rode a Sarikei bus for 25 years. Check this out - hot vinyl seats, metal floors and free breeze (non-air con). Do they still use punch hole tickets? This is the same type of bus I rode to Kabong 25 years ago!


Daniel Yiek said...

If you clicked on the 1957 pic in the previous post to enlarge it, you can see on the left the original type of buses with a protruding engine front like a lorry ...then I recall what reader Lidasar wrote in the comments.

These buses were converted from lorries!

lidasar said...

Could anyone remember in the old days this trade was started by traveling Pakistani that comes selling spectacles for the aged and sunglasses, perfume, rings, low grade stone, hair pins, ribbons, necklace, belt, etc? They come for one or two months and left for another town traveling all over and when long enough they would return back to Pakistan for a period and back again. These traders were very thrifty and usually putting up at mosque to save on lodging, I suppose this traders started a few hundred years ago and a contributing factor how Islam spread to this part of the world.

A popular place where this vendor set up their store is choosing corner coffee shop such as 金山 Kim San and Kiew Lok Kopitiam 僑樂園茶室. I guess with the kind of competition seen in the photos they would not be able to last "survival of who the cheapest".

Tuan Lokong said...

On the 02nd April I chartered a bus for ferrying people from Seratok to Sare' (Behind Jakar) The fare of a chartered bus is rm800.00. Well I may say it is quite a price. Then the service was great I met Mr.Yeong (Thow Chiew) He gave me an express bus for the occassion. It was my Oldest Son Marriage. Cheers to the bas organization. It was indeed why they could outlive any other Companies. I am very happy with their services. By the owner had a son working in Petronas and is working together with me here.

Daniel Yiek said...

Tuan Lokong,

How far (and how long is the drive) is Sare from Jakar? Is the journey on paved road? Is there a small town there? I want to visit this historic place of the Cantonese in my next trip home.

Nelson said...

Still gravel road to Sare, why don't we extend the road and build a bridge to Tj. Manis?

Anonymous said...

I specifically remember that particular bus, plate num QR 1997. Served me well as my transportation to Kabong before I got my car. The reason I remembered it? It's coz it's one of the first new Borneo buses, hence the plate Q. Before that, it's always the really old, old ones. That one, although still air cond less, still a bit better.

fred said...

ah.. the bus that carry my lazy ass to school every morning. Use to seat at the rear of the bus and sleep through the journey. :)

Tuan Lokong said...

Yes, Daniel our longhouse is 17km from Sarikei.
Sare' Road from behind Jakar 3km you will see a junction marked by a large Water Suuply tanks. From the junction (Merutun area)are all paved very nicely (Thank to Dato' Lau Hieng Ding) after another junction split left is "Balai" and straight to the right is Sungai Enseluai (our Longhouse) near the junction is St Andrew Primary School. Just forgot from these junctions is not yet paved, but the road were ok, I saw many Kancils though.

Philip Hii said...

I climbed onto Borneo Bus No. 7 last Sunday to go to Sebangkoi Park. It was non-aircon and the one way fare was RM3.40. Daniel,yes, they are still using the punch hole tickets!. The bus must be 30 years old, but surprisingly it is still reliable and efficient.

Tuan Lokong said...

Guess what do not be supprised the body of the Bus is old but the engine is recond from Japan so many were new engines.

A relative of mine works as a Mechanic there.

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