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Going to Malaysia

We left Singapore for Malaysia without looking back. We will be there again since we are flying back from there.

I had no idea how the land border-crossing was going to be. Crossing borders in Latin America usually involves queuing in a chaotic and dusty town, changing money at the “cambio? paying a couple of bribes and getting a passport stamp. My only land border-crossing experience in Asia had been between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on week-ends, and let’s just say I was glad I was about 30 centimeters taller than the rest of the crowd because you had to fight your way in.

But going to Malaysia turned out to be very straightforward. We boarded a bus at the Golden Mile Station in Singapore and quickly reached the immigration officer. An exit stamp later, and we were out. Entering Malaysia was similarly easy: no questions were asked and we were given a three-month permit on the spot. The only creepy factor was the huge posters everywhere that read “death by hanging for drug traffickers”.

We stopped along the way for lunch and I got a first glance at Malaysia. Lots of palm trees, very hot and sticky like in Singapore, and a diverse population. Some of the bus passengers were of Chinese descent while others were clearly Malaysian. Some women wore a headscarf and other didn’t, and Imams, dressed in white with long bears, sat beside Chinese men.

I had no idea what to get for lunch so I went for a curry puff and a cheese roti, a kind of crêpe with sugar and cheese. I also learn to say “terima kasih” (“thank you”) although I’m afraid my language skills won’t be that good here. But at least, I can get around speaking Mandarin and English.

You can see the complete set of pictures taken in Malaysia on Flickr.

Bus Station in Singapore
Temple at the Bus Station
Malaysian Broder-Crossing
Roti Canai on the Go

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