Travel Guide For Life; M.A.C.

What I See From Mountain To Sea

As the tout was complaining to the ticket seller, the taxi drove off at my behest. After traveling down the road for a few minutes, I started to think that I had paid for the taxi ride all the way to Parapat. We rode all the way to the southern suburbs of Medan to arrive at a large transportation hub. The driver drove straight up to a certain, large beat up public bus and pointed to it. He told me to get into that bus. I did give the taxi driver a small tip because I figured he received a small wage for driving me there. I left the taxi and entered the rickety bus that had a few people sitting on stools in the aisle between the seats that were already full. To take this bus all the way to Jakarta (which was its ultimate destination), it surely would cost a fraction of what one would pay on a tourist bus. The amount of money the ticket handler first asked me to pay would have gotten me to Jakarta on this bus but only to Parapat on a tourist bus. But I was on THIS bus so I had to pay less than what was first asked of me. I paid about $3.50 worth of rupiahs less than what they asked me to pay so I probably paid enough to arrive into Bukittinggi rather than just to Parapat but that was all right because I was soon to meet a young man who offered to have me visit his family home for a week and that was about 80 miles further west than Parapat. He easily talked the bus driver into letting me stay on the bus all the way to Siborongborong. From there, we had to take a bemo up a very steep hill on a rough road similar to the road in this photo.