Like most Indonesian bus terminals, Aur Kuning Terminal, is rundown, badly in need of an upgrade. "Harmonius" buses ply the Bukit Tinggi-Lake Maninjau route for 18,000Rp or about SGD $2.40 for the hour-long journey.
Once again, it was a waiting game in the bus as in Padang and at Padang airport. However, there was the customary Indonesian "entertainment" as an assortment of characters trooped into the bus. Hawkers offered me snacks, drinks, fish crackers, skinny chicken parts and so on.
A small boy entered and gave everyone a slip of paper. An appeal for money. After reading it I did what others were doing -placed it on the seat. No one donated. Wordlessly he collected back his papers, left and boarded another waiting bus.
Next, a dark wizened old man came in with a plastic bag, and pushed it in front of me. Not a word was spoken. Nobody gave him anything.I was startled by someone singing and strumming the guitar. A young man sang lustily for a good three minutes at the end of which out came his plastic bag. For his sterling performance I gave him a donation.
My misery was compounded by the stink of urine coming from the renovation debris piled high next to my bus.
Another sampling of the famed Indonesian rubber time.