Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Traveller's Tales - Butterworth Terminal - Dusty n Filthy!
If there is one thing that strikes you if you are so unfortunate as to travel by bus to Butterworth, is the dusty and filthy situation this city is today, especially at the bus terminal.
The minute I stepped down from the comfort of the MARAliner express coach onto the filthy, dusty, foul smelling area of this mainland city of my home state of Penang, I almost wretched when the stench of the whole area assaulted my nostrils!
Damn! The Butterworth Bus Terminal is one filthy place that will surely make any tourist or traveller who happens to stopover here , to remember the place for it's filth more than anything else!
Penang is so unfortunate to have lousy administrators in the State Government who are more inclined to sit in their airconditioned offices and not see to the proper upkeeping of the public places and general wellbeing of the infrastructures.
I long for the days gone by when Butterworth had some sort of proper local council administration and things weren't as bad as they are today.
During Lim Chong Eu's time, Penang was in a much better shape. Just see for yourselves if you happen to be there now, how things are at Butterworth, in a constant state of turmoil, one might say!
Things were further compounded by the state of the feeder bus that I had to take to reach Kepala Batas.
The ramshackle United Traction Company No.89 bus I took to Kepala Batas surely has seen better days and ought to be either scrapped as junk metal or turned into one of those refurbished designer cafe's that you see in the States.
It was like being in a washing machines with its shakes, rattles and rolls. Hehehehehe...phew!
What an experience! What with the way, things in the bus remaining as it was back in my childhood in the 60's!
I took a snap of the push button inside the bus . A relic of days gone by and still working!
'Phettttt!' goes the sound of the signal to stop at the bus station ahead.
The non airconditioned rattling bus sure brings back memories of how things were and still unchanged for most common folks who rely on public transport for their travelling.
I bet Koh Tsu Koon or Abdullah Badawi do not know just how bad the bus service is and all these while, have not had the opportunity to go take a ride in those boneshakers.
Well, last night the TV news showed Rapid Penang being launched for the folks.
I hope that things will continue to improve and that Koh Tsu Koon gets to see to it that the whole area is put back into proper order and the whole place gets cleaned up all over.
This is a scene at night showing the temporary stalls at the side of the terminal area. The ever present mamak stall and the pickled fruit stalls , selling Penang's famous pickled nutmegs and other fruits.
I waited out the 4 hours waiting for my night bus back to KL here in the Butterworth airconditioned Railway Station.
I met a couple from England, the lady wearing yellow and her beau. They made good company. At least, I had someone to talk to in the Queen's English! :) Hope they will have a safe journey.
If there's one thing, I am thankful for while being in the Railway Station is the air condition relief. That's one comfort that made up for the stuffy filthy atmosphere prevailing at the terminal save for the occasional sea breeze wafting from the Perai Channel. Thanks KTM!
At least, I got to read the newspapers in comfort whilst biding my departure time. Syukran!
This is a shot of the entrance to the railway platform of the Butterworth Station.
I asked a girl to help take a snap of me at the station. I liked the special made to order public seating available at the station.
It was made of wood, not metal or plastic as what we see in modern stations like the LCCT or KLIA.
Wood definitely gives us pleasure of using it's attributes to fashion things out of it and over time has a certain value to it like carved furniture. You can't get that from metal or other substance.
Wood has a certain feel to it. A sense of nature. Metal and plastic lack that effect. Maybe it's just me, a traditionalist who loves all things natural.
My bus finally arrived at 11.00pm and I was so relieved to finally make it back in airconditioned comfort back home to KL.
I slept almost immediately after the bus departed Butterworth and I woke up at about 3.00 am to see the familiar buildings and landmarks of KL in the wee hours of the morning.
I will follow up of my early morning experiences after this.