bis malam

A letter to the editor of the Jakarta Post:

Experience with Lorena bus
The Jakarta Post,  Jakarta   |  Sat, 01/05/2002 7:07 AM  |  Opinion

Because flights to Bali were full, my husband and I foolishly decided to take a bus to Denpasar. We contacted a travel agency and asked for a super executive service and purchased two Lorena super executive seats — bus number SE VII, at the cost of Rp 350,000 each.

The Lorena bus was an executive and expensive disaster. As soon as the driver hit the toll road he lit up a clove cigarette, began puffing furiously and with his free hand weaved maniacally though traffic. Not content in endangering the lives of the passengers on the toll road, the lunatic driver, on exiting the toll, played chicken with oncoming buses and trucks, swerving to the wrong side of the road.

We were but two hours out of Jakarta with another twenty hours of this madness ahead of us. My husband ordered this maniac to stop and between Cirebon and whoop whoop we both stepped off.

On top of the bus fare another Rp 150,000 to return to Jakarta was lost and of course our holiday to Bali is in ruins. We guarantee to you Lorena that we will never use your service again.



Jane123 (not verified) — Thu, 06/18/2009 – 1:11pm

This is a typical review from someone who has NO idea what it’s like in a country other then their own….no wonder we have the stupid american stereo type. Expecting everyone in a land that YOU are a guest of to bow down to their uptight american wants!!! Disgusting….hey Melly stay at home!!!!

Well said, Jane123 (not verified)!

Tomorrow morning at 9:30 I board Lorena’s bis malam (night bus).  But Jonathan, why is it called the night bus if it leaves at 9:30 am?

The island of Java is about 600 miles long, but thanks to road conditions that Melly Costa might call “atrocious” or “shameful” or “horrifying,” the bus ride to Bali takes almost exactly 24 hours (assuming we make it there at all).  But don’t worry, I’ll be travelling in style.  Executive Class, apparently, includes two meals, AC, and a toilet of some kind.  Wish me luck.  Expect lots of pictures.  See you on the other side!


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