At the bus station in Malacca I was the only one going to Singapore. In a big coach there were only me and the driver for five hours. Finally in Singapore, one and a half hours too late, he sent me walking in the wrong direction of where I was supposed to go. I found out, turned around and when I finally got to the spot where I was meeting Bucket, I saw the coach parked 500 meters down the street. All sweaty and stressed I met a girl that had been waiting for more than two hours outside a pharmacy. She wasn't particularly happy, but I had one week to make it better. Turns out, adding all the times she was late during that week, we were even-steven at the end of my stay. We went walking around and checking out Singapore a bit, before we took the last train out to the east side. I jumped off a couple of stations before hers to find my Indian host from couch surfing. In a really nice residential area, I entered an apartment with three Indian guys working in Singapore. Nivas, the main host, who always smiles, gave me my own keys, bed, train card, map etc. Can one ask for more?

Second day in Singapore I went shopping with Bucket for a pair of trousers and a shirt. Since all my clothes look like they've been through the jungle, literally, I needed something nicer for Chinese new years. I met her at her school and got to try to eat in the cafeteria of an Asian college. The rest of the day we spent walking around in Singapore and sitting next to the river. We had bubble teas and duck rice, which were so good I had them multiple times during my stay. I also found out that I've been eating my noodles for a couple of months without mixing them properly with the sauce. At daytime I was alone most of the days and spent the days walking around in Singapore's residential and recreational areas. The urban planning of this city is great and if there is room for a tree or a patch of grass, they've planted it. It feels to me like a modern hanging gardens of Babylon. The Singaporean government is kind of like the Norwegian one in some aspects and does not acknowledge humans of having a mind on their own. Putting up signs that tell you "urinating in the elevator is prohibited" seems kind of unnecessary to me. The buildings in this city are also well taken care of.

One Saturday we tried to get dressed in nice clothes and go down to the old railway station and take some photos. Of course it was closed with barbed wire around it, and to make it complete, it started raining. We also went clubbing one night, but I'm not used to that anymore and was sleepwalking half of the night. Nivas left in a hurry to Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the new year and a new couch surfer came in. An American bloke. We went down to Chinatown and later we saw the fireworks together. In the evenings around new year, Bucket and I went to visit her family. I got to eat loads of good food and I got small red packages containing cash. Here married people give the less fortunate bachelors and bachelorettes gifts. The second last night we went to Ryan's place. I got to eat dinner with them and have some beers. I also saw for the very first time a tradition in which everyone helps mixing a noodle dish by throwing the food into the air with chop sticks. It was very nice. There's apparently always gambling involved and we played in-between. I don't know who enjoyed it the most, the women or the men, but it was hilarious. The term "Skadefryd" should also exist in other languages, because they were all laughing their asses off every time someone failed. The father of the house worked with Norwegians and had been in Norway several times. It was a great evening and I even got myself a Polaroid photo as a souvenir.

The last day in Singapore started with the arrival of Nivas. He was back from KL. Spending the afternoon beating him in chess and fixing my commie-cap for the jungle trek, I later went  up to Pasir Ris and met up with Bucket for the last time. Since she had promised Gung Pao Chicken, what better way to end the travel then by doing it the last day? After saying good bye to her father and dog, we visited Ranford, another friend. I left Singapore with the night bus for KL to meet up with Sloppyhands and Rainman. I will never forget my nine days in Singapore.



Penang - Malacca

The minivan ride from Penang to the Cameron Highlands was delightful. Very nice scenery and very good roads. Unlike alot of places else in Asia, safety seems to be important here and we had to make a stop in Ipoh to change a wheel since the driver found it necessary. Up in the highlands the temperatures were more like Norwegian spring  and a very nice change from the boiling heat in Penang. Cameron highlands was a nice place, but there is not that much to do. The treks there were much smaller than expected, and we got tired of rain and "cold" weather much quicker than we would have thought. Rainman had problems with a painful neck, so I had to go on some walks in the hills on my own. However, when I got back down, I was ready to kick his ass in some super nintendo games. Nothing's like playing some good, old 16-bits games. We had a guided tour to the mossy forest and tea plantations. It was interesting and it still surprises me how friendly Malaysians are, even the ones that make money off you.

We left for Kuala lumpur a grey morning and had a pleasent ride down there. We checked in at a hostel James' had stayed at earlier. That night we almost went to the hospital due to Rainman's neck. He was in severe pain, but ate some pills and was able to survive until the morning. Leaving the cripple at a new hotel, I went of for a stroll in Malaysia's capital. There was alot of traffic but surprisingly few pedestrians. I enjoyed the buildings and walks in the park with signs that reminded me that I shouldn't try to kiss girls there. The museums in KL were also good. Other than that it's really not much to say, except a little, cute muslim girl made me one of the best waffles of my life. Big like Belgian ones, but round and crispi with soft insides like regular ones. She added peanut butter and kaya. Made my day. Also made me realise I had been missing waffles. Licence plates are also hilarious in Malaysia. Having all kinds of three characer plates give alot of nice abbreviations.

After a couple of days in KL we left for Malacca, the cultural capital of Malaysia. It's very nice with loads of history, being influenced by three European powers and all. The demographic situation is a bit different here, and there are many more Chinese. We therefor switched from the curry and naans in KL to the Chinese noodle and chicken dishes. In Malacca we found Jenga at the market and James got his ass kicked multiple times. Since his neck is better, there is no point in letting him win. Mr Sloppyhands is still in England, so somebody has to take his place. In Malacca I had yet another waffle, this time with peanut butter and chocolate. I loved it! Malaysia is a brilliant place to enjoy functioning multi cultural society with waffles. It's also not a place you to if you want to get hammered. Beer is difficult to find, expensive and nobody wants to drink it with you. After a couple of days in Malacca I left for Singapore to experience Chinese new year, while James left to Cambodia to have a chill week waiting for Sloppyhands to come and help him out of his losing streak.

Next stop Singapore!




Phuket - Penang

After my parents left me all alone and vulnerable in Phuket I had another messy night in Patong. After a couple of hours of sleep I went to take the boat to phi phi island. At Phi phi island I stumbled upon Mr sloppyhands and Rainman. They were booking a boat trip for the day and with them were Cara the cat from Laos and two new ones, Anna and Kris. I joined them for the ride and we all had a great day. Back on the island the guys had a little surprise waiting. At a restaurant, where guests could muay thai eachother for a bucket of booze, they had a burger challenge. The lads had been waiting for me and now was the time. Who could manage to consume an 800 gram burger, potato wedges, coleslaw and onion rings in 30 minutes? The correct answer is me:D Years of practice finally paid off. None of us felt good the next 20 hours though, but it was worth it.

The next day was new years eve and we spent the day on the beach, relaxing and swimming in the beautiful, warm water. The three girls then came and picked us up after they had gotten themself a bucket each. We went down to the beach for a nice new years eve beach party. With nice music, fireworks and half naked people with body painting, I had my very first warm new years eve celebration. Cara kissed some very handsome guys, but was unfortunaetly not able to remember this the next morning. 2012 started with rain. This didn't bother us much since we spent most of it in bed. We had a last, nice dinner with the girls and then we said good bye. The next day the three amigos went to Hat Yai in the south of Thailand. Unfortunately, bad news had arrived from England and Amir had to go back home. The next morning he left for Kuala Lumpur, leaving the trip to Penang to Rainman and myself. No tears were shed, but a piece of our hearts left that day. At noon the same day James and I boarded the love bus. A minivan filled with gay Malaysians. It took us 10 mins to find out that one was playing for the different team, but after a bus ride of 4 hours we realized that they all were. T-shirts like "Boy boy" in sparkling letters, hand gesters and lisping made Rainman understand he was in heaven.

Penang was a new world to me! Multi cultural life without white people. Chinese, Malayians and Indians living together with some other minorities buzzing around. Colonial architecture mixed with Chinese temples and Mosques. Walking around was  a lot of fun and dragon lizards seem to crawl under stilt houses or be coming out of the sewers. The food was great and dirt cheap. It's very practical that everybody speaks English there too. Rainman and I checked into a place called Hotel Noble. The rooms resemble those you see from military hospitals during the war, but we had what we needed. That included all our neighbours beeing old hippies and junkies. They were all friendly however. Even the one old guy that has female breasts and wears a dress. We spent the days going around the town, up penang hill and the national park on the tip of the island. In the national park we saw giant lizards, monkeys, birds and several eagles. After trekking through the jungle 3 hours, we ended up at an awesome lighthouse and we sat up at the top and enjoyed a nice view over the ocean. It was very nice to see the eagles fly together around us. We were supposed to stay a night or two, but ended up being in Penang five nights. I can highly recommend going to this town and enjoy the Malaysian hospitality. The sixth day we left with a minivan for the cameron Highlands.