Thursday, July 18, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

It is not like traveling in America or anywhere in the world including in the whole of Indonesia.

The transportation system in Indonesia may be basic, but they are efficient, despite the scams one can experience when buying tickets.

But Europe is the worst place in the world for anyone to travel in either by plane or train or bus.

Some of the transportation companies’ websites do not have versions in English.

This goes to show how well English is received in these countries.

They don’t care about foreigners even within the EU and elsewhere who do not speak in the native languages.

And the schedules are sparse with connecting airline, train and bus connection irregular.

But it was not like this before.

I remember going to Europe few times in the 1990s and found traveling from one country to the other and the other, to be easy.

Now it is very tough. One can get stranded by the dearth of information available online so one cannot check on it to know where and when one can travel.

Many blame the transportation system in Malaysia especially to be substandard, but it is far worse in the EU.

Yet, the EU is supposed to have some of the most developed countries in the world.

It is also tough to book car rentals in any country in the EU if one wants to cross the borders; the cost of renting a small car is worth more than the price of the car itself.

So EU is not unified; it is fractured and disconnected. The only common dominator the countries in the EU have is the common currency called the euros.

But there is so much one can do with the currency if the systems are bad or deplorable.

I did not expect this to happen in the EU which is touted to be an advanced grouping of nations most of which are non-Islamic ones, that they wanted to show to the world how they can cooperate and deal with each other, so that traveling between the countries in the EU could be oversimplified, especially with the doing away of the passports at the borders of many of the countries.

But this also does not make any sense at all if traveling is difficult and the transportation system or industry is deplorable.

It is better and also much cheaper to travel in India and Indonesia where their transportation system is more superior to that in the EU, despite the sad state of the railway and bus coaches.

But these countries which are described as some of the less developed knew how to develop their transportation system so that it does not cost too much for the average person to travel about within their countries.

But the EU is totally different; even the low-cost airlines charge exorbitant fees; they cannot be called ‘low-cost airlines’ at all as they charge more than the normal airlines, sometimes.

There one cannot be blame is one thinks of the EU is nothing but a political and economic ploy used by the political and economic leaders to unify the countries in the region so that they can create a greater common market.

But they did not care for the personal well-being of those who live in the EU, and how the need for them to travel must also be addressed as this can indicate how united the countries within the EU are.

Till now, this has not happen with the political and industry leaders looking elsewhere at the issues they are interested in, which do not benefit the average citizens of the EU.

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