Going home proved to be a traumatic experience. To get to the airport, we had to take a two hour ride down the mountain, from Berastagi to Medan.
The cab we booked was one and a half hours late. More precisely, we finally managed to secure a different cab after waiting for so long. The original cab driver was uncontactable and gave no reason for not appearing.
By the time we started on the narrow and winding road downhill, it was dark, and raining. I had never been so car sick in my life. As the car lurched from one sharp bend to another, I was painfully aware of the flashing headlights from a stream of cars coming in the opposite direction. The only way to cope was to close one's eyes and not think about plunging down the sides of the mountain.
The worst thing about travelling in that region is the sense of being exploited at every turn, literally.
Apart from the Gundaling 'road-toll' incident, more happened at the airport. As our cab drove into the airport, an inexplicable barrier appeared, and just to make a turn in, we coughed up another 'road toll'. As soon as we alighted, friendly men pressed up offering assistance...for a fee, of course. After shaking off all these disturbances, we finally reached the customs. There, once again, we were turned away and referred to another counter to pay departure tax.
Though the sums were small, one doesn't like to feel like a target to be fleeced, legally or otherwise. So there was such a sense of relief when we finally reached home!