Singapore, day 4 december 26 2009
At around 9 am we went out to Parkway Parade mall to have our USD 5 changed into RM. Well, we got RM 17. Not much, but hopefully it’s enough for us to spend the day in Johor Bahru. Then we took bus #48 from the bus shelter in front of the mall. That bus took us to Opposite Kranji Station bus shelter. It actually costed only $1,80, but since the driver didn’t tell us he didn’t have any change and we had already pay with two $2, we got no change. And i got upset by it. From parkway to kranji took about 30-40 mnts. From opposite Kranji station we hopped into a Causeway link bus, the yellow bus taking us to Kotaraya in Johor Bahru. It costed $1.
We stopped at the Singapore Immigration check point. There’s an incident. We took the wrong way. We had no idea that after having our pasport checked, we need to turned 360 degrees instead going straight out. We walked through a tunnel following a sign told “to Johor”. We got confused. Well it was a little suspicious for us actually, since we didn’t see any bus shelter in nearby. We did turned back, but found an Arrival Hall instead, which would just led us back to Singapore. So we turned back again and decided to walk along the bridge. But all along the way we found signs telling that it’s not allowed to walk along that bridge. Finally we met someone in the middle of the way. I thought he was waiting for someone to be picked up. So we asked him if we’re taking the right way. He said we better went back and took the bus. Even though it’s already 15 mnts away from the Singapore immigration, it would take more than 1 hour for us to reach Malaysian check point. So Mussa and i decided to made a turn way back.
Before we reenter the tunnel for the 3rd time, we were stopped by some officers. He asked where’re going? And it seemed that he had watched us from the 1st turn. So i told them that we’re taking the wrong way. They straightly guessed that we’re Indonesian. But they’re nice men and showed us where to go and what to do. So we did make it back to the immigration, went to the immigration office to report our taking the wrong way, and they led us the right way.
After checking our passport in Malaysian immigration, we missed our causeway link. But thankfully again, there were two men helped us. They were officer in the bus terminal. They told us to better take bus number 160 and pay RM 1 to take us to Kotaraya. And we did take their advises.
We had no idea about this Kotaraya. And rain didn’t help at all. So we just get off the bus where all the passengers stopped. It was a big shopping center. Well, most of the things sold there were just generally the same as sold in any mall. But in comparison with prices in Singapore, there things were cheaper. Toilet was not for free. We had to pay 20 cent to use the facility. And they had the praying room at an uncomfortable corner at the 6th floor of the building. And lack of helpful signage made things got more difficult.
We spent our money for lunch. The Loh Mi costed RM 4,80. While the mineral water RM 1,80. The taste of the noodle was quite dissapointing, since we expected it to be more spicy and salty, but it was not. Almost tasteless for me.
Then we went to a book store, looked for a Malaysian book. Mussa got one book written in Malay, for RM 23,5. While i got a very thick collection of Sherlock Holmes adventure for only RM 25.
Nothing was really interesting in Johor Bahru. And the city it self just reminded us of Bekasi or Tanggerang area in Indonesia. We didn’t really feel safe, so we decided to get back to Singapore soon. and we hust realized that JB Square, the mall we had been at, was just across the street from the Immigration check point. had we known, we wouldn’t have taken a bus from the immigration. so, probably we had never got into Kotaraya.
Then there was a very long queue at Singapore Check point. We got there at around 4.30 pm and was finally out of there at 7 pm. We decided to take MRT from Kranji to Orchard Road. The eazylink card costed $15 ($5 for the card and the credit was $10).
We suddenly felt happy by being in the middle of joys of crowds and beautiful street decorations along Orchard Road. We bought some Cotton On, took many pictures, and had nice finger snacks for dinner. We still had our bread we took from home, so they were enough for us.
Then we took MRT to Explanade. Unfortunately it was too late, so we didn’t stay there long otherwise we’re gonna miss the last bus.
And we did. We stopped at Bedok MRT Station to change into bus taking us to Amber Road. But there’re no more bus taking us straight there. So we took bus number 16 to Katong Mall. And eventually we found out that it was still so far away from Amber road. We walked for about 30mnts in the middle of midnight.