Usually when I am traveling (and basically everywhere) I try to keep my smile wide and my spirit light. I try to be happy and take all situations as lightly possible, be it as bad as not finding accommodation for the night in Spain, getting severely scammed in Indonesia or even getting lost in a desert around Mount Bromo.
However, under only a few circumstances, I got really mad at people to the extent of shouting! I do not regret these, but I wish the whole situation didn’t take place from the beginning; it just ruins the good mood of the day.
This happened twice in the span of 6 months, both of them in Indonesia. While it could have also happened while in Thailand, the day the tuktuk driver told me he won’t give me a ride because I am Egyptian! (I still wonder why a Thai person would hold a grudge for an Egyptian…Maybe he had a bad experience with another Egyptian before?) But I just let this one slip, as I was in a hurry that day.
Anyway, now for the two times when I actually got really pissed and shouted at people!
On our way back from Gili Meno, we took one of these tiny island hopper boats which was super crowded as it was the first one of the day. So when getting in, I thought it would be better to leave my backpack at the end of the boat so it wouldn’t bother other passengers. I have done this on the times we took the boat before and it seems that many people do the same. After all, we’re all on the boat together and I can always see who’s taking what off the boat!
We make it to Lombok, and as we were sitting at the very front of the boat, we get to be of the last people to leave it. But when we made it to the end of the boat where the backpack was, it was gone! I stood for a few seconds there not knowing what to do, until a guy asks me “Which company are you with?”
“I’m with company X, but I can’t find my backpack!”
“Ya ya don’t worry, someone took your backpack over there”
I look, and the backpack is sitting somewhere on the beach. Relieved, I get off the boat and go pick it up, and then same guy comes back telling me I should take a horse carriage to the place where the bus will meet us.
We agreed to that, though we both knew it is a walk able distance, but my backpack was cut from several places and I couldn’t carry it on my back anymore, and to add to it it was raining! So we decided to spend a few thousand rupiahs on the carriage!
Once on the carriage, a guy comes running to me and says he wants 50k rupiahs for carrying my backpack. And that was when I lost it and started shouting. A little bit of a background is needed to understand this: we got scammed on our way to Gilis by a similar way, where people acted like they are helping us and then asked for money for carrying the backpacks!
“I did not ask you to carry it, in fact I thought it got stolen and I was going crazy! And then you ask for money? Well, no! You are not getting one Rupiah from me!”
“But mister, I carried the backpack for you”
“and I didn’t f*cking ask for it!! You did it from yourself and you scared the shit out of me! I am not paying anything!” then directing my speech to the carriage guy “let’s go!”
Surabaya, in the bus station, we just arrived on bus and were supposed to go to the immigration office to take my passport, but it was still 7 am, and the office doesn’t open till 9 am. So we decided to go to McDonald’s, as it’s close to both the bus station and immigration office, and also it has Wi-Fi and we needed to look up hotels.
So we go with one of the taxis in the station, of course make sure we say “meter” more than once and he agrees to it. Unlucky for the guy, I’ve been on this road, from bus station to immigration office to McDonald’s and generally in Surabaya too many times and I knew my way around quite well.
The driver agreed to put on the meter, and he went in a totally opposite direction. I told him with my broken Indonesian that this is the wrong way and that I want to go to McDonald’s on this specific street. He said ya ya, and some stuff in Indonesian. I thought maybe there is some sort of a shortcut I don’t know about, so I waited.
I only got out of my mind when he took a turn into the highway! Ok, I’ve also been on this road, and I know you could reach where I want through here, by making a HUGE circle! Sorry dude, you’re trying to do this with the wrong person. So again, with the broken Indonesian of mine I told him this is the wrong way, and told him how he should have drove once out of the bus terminal! He tried talking again, and that was when I got so mad and swore at him in Arabic. I regret this part and I feel bad about it.
He took us to McDonald’s with a meter fare of 35k rupiahs; I paid only 20k of these, as I know the original, normal route only costs 15k to 18k depending on traffic!
So those are the two times I got really mad and shouted at someone while traveling. The times I really lost my patience! To my defense, both times were 1 day apart, and were 1 week before going back home, so probably I was a bit sad already? I will keep that excuse!
Did you ever get so mad at someone while traveling and shouted at them?
[Photo of Bangsal Port in Lombok: Ari T]