The Bus of Doom and Singapore’s not just a Sling

Last day in South East Asia…fucking crazy…unreal…just…wow.

Seems like it’s been years since I first started this magical journey of rollercoaster proportions.

Now in Australia, so might as well finish up my crazy experiences of the last couple days…shall we begin my friends?

I think we shall.

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Back to the beginning of things….Kuala Lumpur. A city of cities…not quite sure where to classify this baby…so lets just start from my first visit.

*type of hypnotic speech pattern*Let the water trickle over your eyes…pass through the mist…follow the bobbing light…yes…deeper…deeper…

WHOOOSH

*back to normal* Alright…that was my fucking attempt to bring you into the past…now snap out of it.

The rain just started coming down, I was tired, dirty, unshaven, lost and now…wet…great. Eventually, after asking 5 different locals for directions, getting more lost, making my way back I finally decide to just trust my gut. Turns out…my gut was pretty smart…I found the places I was looking for. So after arriving at 5:30am I found a place I could rest my weary fluffy head at 8:20am.

After a few hours of snoozing it was time to walk the city…oh let me just find a pay phone…turns out I look for a couple hours, find hundreds of pay phones, buuuut none work…hmmm…nice system KL.

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So I decide, it would be best to just go out and explore the city. I find a bunch of great shops, a chocalatery, tons of skyscrapers and huge shopping malls and the Patronus Towers(don’t know why, but they always remind me of Harry Potter)

As the hungry monster starts to settle in, I make my way to little India, where I find this great little restaurant run by this little old man. Great food, good price…I’m fucking set. A crazy upside down type of city, with a flair for the theatrics and great food. That was my first experience with KL.

Now…THE RETURN(sounds like some low budget horror flick)

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A little more familiar, I end up meeting these two Canadians on the trip from the airport…STORY TIMES SUPREME ensue. From meeting former NHLer’s to ridding a bus that hit a group of kids the big pot’o stories was definitely getting stirred.

With these newbie KLer’s and myself knowing a little about the city, we end up doing a full night of exploration. Seeing more of the skyscrapers, malls, towers and finding some more great restaurants and drinking holes.

After exploring a little more of KL my opinion kind of remained the same. A bustling China Town, a spicy little India numerous grand looking skyscrapers, deluxe malls and you can change from rich to poor in one block.

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Now…it’s time to leave.

Again bus is the comfiest and most affordable way to travel in Malaysia…that is…when it works…let me explain my little…BUS OF DOOM.

First, trying to buy the ticket.

There’s tons of people selling tickets everywhere, so you can pick and chose the price you want to pay. Everyone saw me come up, and immediately, the prices started skyroacketing…well you little fuckers…I’m not having any of that shit…after bargening…heckling and laughing…I finally find a little stand that sells me an affordable ticket. Righto…got some time to kill before I take off, perfect.

I think its a good idea, that since I’ve already got my “GOLDEN” fucking ticket

I should spend the rest of my money on food…because…well…I don’t need anymore of this Malaysian paper. Hmmm…will this come back to haunt me? I just don’t know(Foreshadow anyone?)

I arrive back at the counter plenty of time before my bus leaves. They look at my ticket, scratch out the platform number and put a new one. Ya that’s reeeeeeeeeal comforting. They point me in the direction of the new platform and say You go there.

So I head down to the carbon monoxide sweaty pit of death and begin to wait…and wait…and guess what?…wait some fucking more. Until eventually it’s well past the two o’clock departure time.

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I try getting help, but no help is recieved…yeaaaah…let’s breath in a little more of that tasty carbon monoxide.

With sweat pouring down my back and this scraggly old man puffing smoke in my face…I was pretty much the most comfortable I could be…finally…YESSSS…BUS TO SINGAPORE.

I make sure it’s actually heading to Singapore…board that fucker, and take off…only to go around the block…and come back. WTF…I was all ready to go…what now. Well we comence another little wait…and wait…until finally…bus is full…time to go. Departure time 3:45pm…hmmm an hour 45 later…not bad.

After a long journey I arrive at the Malaysian border…walk in, get my passport stamped and walk out…only to find…the bus no where to be found. The five of us passengers wait and wait…hoping the driver just didn’t say…fuck them I got their money, time to get drunk…or something along those lines…anyway…lucky for us…he didn’t…he just got lost…hey buddy…aren’t you a BUS DRIVER…ya thanks…didn’t notice that you needed to know where you’re going.

We all hop on, and no more then five minutes down the road…Singapore customs…time to get out and get another stamp. This time I make sure I know where to meet the bus. Go in…meet a cute little Russian girlie, forget about filling out the entrance card, return to back of line…and finally exit the building…only, guess what I find?…no bus. Hmmmm…is this Deja Vu?

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All the other passengers were from singapore…sooo you do the math…oh suck at math eh…well I’ll do it for ya…THE DRIVER FUCKING LEFT ME…ya guess he didn’t like my previous driver joke…anyway…takes me about half an hour of waiting befoe I realize…well…guess I need another ride into Singapore, lets ask around…someone is suuuuure to give me a lift.

Nope…no one will dig into their hearts and give a poor stranded Canadian a ride into Singapore…unless…I pay…two dollars…or…five Rupiah(Malaysian currency)…Oh good I have that…right? Hahaha…oh right…I thought I didn’t need that…uh…do you take cookies?

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With no ATM around, and no cash in my wallet I’m screwed…no one will take someone without money.(also they don’t believe I have no money) I negotiate…I talk…I…beg…still nothing. Then an idea pops in my head…(nooo not “that” idea you sick mofo’s…damn you really should get urselves checked) What I had were some Canadian coins…maybe they’ll take that…phew…lucky for me…the guy likes the look of the Quarter and nickle…he lets me on….phew…close one.

At the train station I catch my second lucky break…the last train of the day. Who would have thought that leaving at 2pm I would be catching the last train of the day in Singapore.

Finally I arrive at my hostel…look down at my watch. 12:27am…hmmmm…leaves at 2pm arrives at 12:30…niiiiice 10 and a half hours…not that shabby.

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Oh…should I point out…(commercial guy voice)

the length of a regular trip from KL to Singapore…5 hours.

Actual trip from KL to Singapore…10:30 hours

Getting left at Singapore customs…catching the last train of the day and hoping to find a place to stay at 12:30am…Priceless

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There’s somethings that you just can’t control…for everything else there’s laughter.(End of commercial parody)

Now…I’m standing outside the hostel I wish to stay at, but there’s all these sings that read…”no rooms available after 11pm without email confirmation.” Great…just my luck…well*takes in breath*…….here goes nothing…I reach forward and ring the bell. London bridge is falling down rings over the speaker…hmmm nice tune…then………………………..silence………………………still silence……….finally….the door slowly creaks open…an old lady emerges from the darkness…she immediately asks if I have a booking…I reply no, but catch her with my explanation right before she closes the door.

I eventually convince her to give me a room and was that ever a relief. Yes she may have overcharged me, but hey…I was just glad I had a place to stay.

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Next couple of days were spent killing time and trying not to kill the checkbook. I went on a few excursions, but nothing that exciting.

I was just counting down the days and hours until my flight…thinking of Singapore as…well…nothing….just a a plain city.

That is…until I met Johnny. A crazy, 10 year traveling, rambling, intense story teller, beer drinking average joe. This guy opened my eyes to soooooo much more of Singapore. Places and things I had no idea existed.

Sitting around watching good ol filmstrips to kill time and in waltzes this Dutch guy with a spring in his step and a story to tell. (His story always included something along the lines of how much he loved the city of Singapore) At first I thought this guy was absolutely fucking nuts…just spewing tons of shit. I would just think to myself…ya ok there you old cook…until he mentioned a cheap place to find beer…then I was all ears.

I tagged along to all these hidden parts of Singapore. Restaurants, shops, curry grinders and even the little beer halls.

freshly grinded curry

freshly grinded curry

After a few hours of walking around, I witnessed true, authentic, local Singapore. Complete with a crazy drunk guitar player. Turns out Johnny actually had some good stories to tell…guess traveling for 10 years could do that to you.

This guy was fucking nuts

This guy was fucking nuts

Finally, we ended the night drinking beer on the curb, shooting the shit with some locals, outside a large Chinese food cafe. Who would have thought.

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Having such a great night of viewing Singapore from competely new angles, I decided to go on the 11km rainforest walk the next day.

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Great day for a walk, a view and to lose ones self in the heart of Singapore. Stretching as far as the eye could see, was this enormous protected rain forest. Ya…the heart of Singapore has a fucking rainforest…what the deuce.

Looks like good ol Johnny boy pulled out all the stops…even though he began ranting about Thai “Girlfriends”

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I was able to see monkeys, snakes and even weird lizards, while still being able to walk around a corner and see the outlines of a skyscraper.

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I had my eyes opened to a different and new world within the cracks and gulleys of a massive clean and modern city called Singapore. Glad I rolled the dice.

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South East Asia…check

Experiences…A plenty

Things I’ll miss…drinking in a park, beer in hand walking down the street, cheap noodle dishes, hotel rooms at practically no cost and of course…drinking on the corner of a street.

Next stop…Darwin, Australia…the heat…the land down under…the bevy of adventures waiting to happen.

Shit…I’m gonna need some money soon.

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