Sunday, 20 January 2013

Nick and Carol's Excellent JB Adventure!

Hi everyone! Whew, it's been a whirlwind mini-adventure. As previously stated, yesterday Carol and I learnt the ropes of travelling in to Johor Bahru from Singapore by hopping on a train and then catching a couple of buses from one stop to another. It's been a few years since my solo trip to JB, and it was just as much fun — albeit much shorter — this time around. First it was from Kranji MRT to the immigration checkpoint, which, as you might imagine, was crowded with people trying to flee exit the country to southern Malaysia. Then it was across the Causeway to the Johor checkpoint, followed by another bus ride to the bus terminal in central JB (which, as it turns out, we didn't actually need to get on, since the locations we needed to head to were actually rather close to the Johor checkpoint itself. Ah well.)

A funny thing happened on the bus from the Johor checkpoint to the central bus terminal — the bus was reversing when we heard a sudden bumping sound. Then passengers started exclaiming, "Whoa whoaa whoaaaaa!!!" — and Carol and I looked out the back side window to see another bus reversing at the same time as we were. Subsequently there was a (rather minor) crash as the rear ends of both buses collided. Everyone was all a-twitter with excitement (though, this being Johor and not Singapore, nobody Twittered or Facebooked) while the two bus drivers sorted out the damage, leaving us passengers on board, agitated for all of twenty seconds before calming down and waiting patiently to resume our journey, which we eventually did. La la la. Welcome to Malaysia, folks.

Anyway, so we managed to find our way to the venue where Carol and I would be meeting the Perth crew, who were doing a performance of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. We made it in time for the show (give or take a couple of scenes off the starting), but not before indulging in totally healthy meals of cheesy sinfulness down at the TGI Friday's outlet below the performance venue, complete with alcohol!!

Good lord, all this food!!! 

Ultimate Mudslide! Awesomeness!
Carol got me Legend of the Guardians action figures
as belated Christmas pressies! Heh!!
So we caught the show (understanding, perhaps, 60% of it), and subsequently had a joyous reunion with Jenny and some of the peeps from Perth. We then proceeded back to TGI Friday's for post-performance drinks and more food (which Carol and I didn't touch). Here are some pics of the festivities:
A view of the gang! 
Carol, Andrew and a very close-up Ellin. 
Mr Stephen B. Blatt.
Scott looks surprised. 
I'm feelin' Blue. That's the name of the stuffed thingy. Oh, and that's Mel.
Eventually as the restaurant closed, we hopped onto the bus service provided for us, back to the place where we'd be staying for the night. Jenny had referred to it as the Homestay, which had placed notions in our minds of us bunking over at somebody's house. Turns out it wasn't really that: it was a couple of huge houses, separated by a road, and each house had individual bedrooms with en suite bathrooms (read: a shower above a sink and toilet)... kinda like hostels or smaller motels. Surprisingly it was rather comfortable, though I was kinda freaked out by the toilet in my room that looked as if it had been randomly placed there and wasn't really connected to anything:

What the...?! What's going on?! What's with all the crookedness?!!
The surprisingly cozy bedroom.
After checking in, we proceeded for a last round of drinks (for Carol and me at least) at the nearby kopitiam, where we had rounds of beer and some fried chicken to pick on. All in all, it was a good night, apart from an incident that involved a live fish from the seafood fish tank that was dunked on Andrew K's head. Oy. Don't ask. We don't really know what that was all about, either. Anyhoo, here are some pics:

Carol, Jason and Sarah!
I love how Mr Blatt is the only one looking at the camera.
Me and Andrew K, who got fish-headed. Really. Don't ask.

The following morning (this morning), Carol and I headed out for a meeting with Jenny at the nearby shopping centre (more updates on this as and when). And then Carol and I decided to part ways and make our way back across the border to the land of Singaypoo, so we bid everyone a fond farewell. It was a short trip indeed, but definitely sweet, and next week, I'll be heading back to KL to meet up with Jenny for more meetings and hopefully meet some of the Perthlings again (maybe. Not too sure about this. We'll see). It took Carol and me a much shorter time getting back into Singapore than we did leaving it (which I'm sure tells you something, ahem), and after some ice-cream at Junction 8 nearby, we, too, parted ways, leaving me back in my room in Bishan, blogging away. Here are some more pics of the morning:

Jason, Jenny, me and Carol! 
Murali joins the fun! (As does a luggage bag.) 
Sad to be leaving... arf.
Farewell, Perth peeps! Mr Blatt, what is up with that shirt?!!
Bye-bye for now, Perth Gang! You guys and gals are the awesomest!!! xx

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