Labuan is a small town and 2 hours of layover is already enough. Anthony and I entered the ferry… which I now call the HELL FERRY.

I have no idea that its monsoon season in Borneo during February. If only I have known it earlier, I should have taken the bus from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu. The ride to Kota Kinabalu takes 3 hours but because of the terrible waves, it took us 4 hours to travel.

The first 30 minutes is ok. I had a good sleep until it…


I woke up. It’s the sound of the ferry’s resistance to the waves. Everything is shaky in our place. Anthony and I were seated in front of the ferry where we felt exaggerated motions. I checked the middle section and some of them were still sleeping as if nothing is happening in the ferry. I told Anthony that I will transfer in the middle section because I cannot take the front seats anymore. I left my bag and transferred in the middle. I am afraid of two things during the trip: fear of sinking and fear of vomiting. I am perspiring cold sweat. I can’t hear a thing except my heartbeat.

Then it got worse. Boom! Boom! Boom! The people in the middle section finally felt it. Most of them were standing and looking outside to see what’s happening. Everyone is bothered. Boom! Boom! Boom!

Nearly half of the passengers vomited because of the motions. It feels like we are in a roller coaster less the water. I can hardly feel my body. My hands are numbing. My ears are red.

I closed my eyes, tried to think happy thoughts.

“Recent happy thoughts? Angel. Amir. Brunei. Chris. Kampung Ayer. I need to fight this fear. I need to divert my attention. Think of your family and friends. Mom. Dad. Yenko, that cute nephew of yours. Jogs. Shan. Carizza. Home. Pizza. Anything! I need to smile. Old Happy Thoughts? Vietnam? Nam. The staff of Hanoi Advisor Hotel. Prabhu. Hare Krishna. Jesus… Jesus! I need your help. I can’t take this anymore!”

Then I had enough. I went in the CR and just let it all out there! My mom used to say that next to puking is relief. But there’s no relief. I still feel dizzy. Am I in hell that even laws of Science are not applicable? I went back to my seat and continued experiencing hell, the fear, the motion sickness. Boom! Boom! Boom! Roller Coaster!

1st hour…

2nd hour…

1st movie over..

2nd movie started..

3rd hour..

4th hour….

Dry Land!

I survived hell. My host in Kota Kinabalu is already waiting for me. In fact I missed his calls during my hell ride.

“I’m sorry Adam, I wasn’t able to answer your call. I almost fainted inside the ferry.” I texted him.


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