By Mansor Puteh
I have been to many out of the way places in
because each time I am back
in the country I would prefer to travel in the Greyhound bus. It is not only
very convenient this way but also the most interesting. America
And I would sleep in the bus so when I get to the next destination I am at another city, where I would go about to see the place before returning to the station to move on.
And in this way too I could save money on hotels and also move along in the journey to travel around
I have returned to
America few times since
leaving the country after my stint at Columbia
because my films were selected by some film festivals and I did not choose to
fly direct to the cities where the festivals are held, but stopped at and then take
the bus to go to the festivals. Los Angeles
I had once traveled for fifty-three hours from
to St. Paul/Minneapolis passing different areas in the country, the deserts and
prairies and another thirty-six hours from here to . It was fun. New York City
I had not had the opportunity to travel this widely in
when I was studying at a university in . New
Even if I were to do that, I would not be able to want to see much; now after leaving the country so long I could see more.
And on my last trip back to America I flew into John F Kennedy Airport and then visited New York City and also Columbia before heading on to Boston where I had lived a few months to recuperate and then to Salt Lake City before getting to Los Angeles to meet some friends.
I took the opportunity to visit
for the first time and returned there the next day to see more of the city. Hollywood
This was the first time I got there and it was fun, seeing how the city which is very small yet significant in the cultural life of
itself would not exist in the world as we know it. America
I hope to return to New York City soon because I have some unfinished business at the university…and may be it would be better if I drive this time so I can stop anywhere I want…
And what else that I like the most about traveling in the Greyhound?
Because I travel a lot longer than most on the trips, I got to meet many people some interesting and some not so, especially the chatty ones who liked to talk till late at night despite them being warned not to do so.
The drivers of the buses are all disciplined who know what they are able to do including to call the cops or police and get the unruly passengers off the bus if necessary.
So they tended to behave themselves.
Most of the passengers would travel for a short distance while I would go on and on to my next destination which may be more than a day long.
And along the way I had to switch to different buses and stop at their stations for snacks and to stretch out.
Most of those who travel by bus in
are those who are not so economically strong; and they are mostly the working
class who could not afford to fly or to drive, with some students. America
I sometimes bump into the Amish community who would normally refrain from traveling by bus but they sill do, if forced to. They are distinguished by the special clothes they wear and they tended to keep to themselves and hardly ever want to strike any conversation with anyone.
I am often mistaken for a Native American but most of the times, a Japanese.
I spent a bit of time in
and went about. I took the bus from Hollywood Los Angeles
where I was putting up with some friends from Rohingya who used to live in Malaysia many years before they were resettled
in . America
Hollywood I also got on a tour to see the houses of some
of the more famous stars and stared at the Hollywood sign which is far away
from the lookout point where we got off to view the view of from the low hill. Los Angeles
This is the
many Malaysians had often known of but who have not been to before. Hollywood
And it took me a long while before I went there for the first time in 1990 and the next time in April, 2014.
Hollywood again from Los
Angeles where I had gone to Chinatown
and taken the subway train which stopped at the station near the Hollywood Boulevard
and Vine junction where one can see the famous Capitol Records building.
It was cold at many parts in
and in New York City it even snowed but here in the temperature
then was warm with low humidity so I did not break a sweat even when I had
walked a lot. Hollywood
From the looks of it,
defies logic; it is supposed to be the place where many things happen, but in
reality this is not so. Hollywood
The happenings are done elsewhere in the studios and when the Academy Awards Night is on at the Kodak Theater.
Otherwise, it is a small city in
where things do not seem to happen and where there are more curious visitors
from the country and elsewhere converge to see if they can get the sense of the
place. Not many can. America
It takes a lot more effort for anyone to be able to catch a whiff of what this place means.
And here and there one can easily see some musicians strumming their guitars, collecting coins from generous passersby; the undiscovered talent who may be the next
There are buses and trains that one can take to go to
and be there but one can never ever get there… Los Angeles
that many want
to see and get to and remain there is one that only exists in their dreams. Hollywood
Even those Americans who live in the city and the environs and also in
Los Angeles and all over America
who grew up with
can only dream that they are there… Hollywood