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We’re in the Jungle, Baby

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

I left Kuala Lumpur early in the morning, on a bus that would cost me RM18, or about US$5, for a 4 hour journey. I was heading inland to an area called the Cameron Highlands, a large tea plantation and fruit growing area high in the mountains. When I arrived at the bus station, I found my platform underground in the dark cavernous bus terminal of Purduraya bus station next to Chinatown. So far, all the buses I had taken were nice, new coach buses. The outside of this bus, while still new enough to not have windows that open, looked slightly old and rusting. But it looked good enough, or so I thought, as I boarded with a ton of local Malays and one apparent other backpacker. The seats looked worn, the floor was dirty and the windows were blurry years of soot and fingerprints. That, I didn’t realize, should have been the least of my concerns. [read on]